I am a public relations professional by trade. I’m proud of that. While I consider myself a writer first and went to school to learn how to become a journalist, it is public relations that I consider my craft.
While there are those who will differ, I believe social media to be the new public relations. It’s PR for the 21st century and those who will excel in it, in my opinion, are public relations professionals who aren’t tech-tarded. You know, guys and gals like me.
As a PR guy, I found the recent Arthur W. Page Society report, “The Authentic Enterprise: Relationships, Values and The Evolution of Corporate Communication,” which is called, “A Manifesto for the New PR” by Paul Gillin, an interesting moment in the industry. Not just the public relations one, but social media as well.
The document calls for a new approach to corporate communications, putting the chief communications officer at the board table and, interestingly, having “leadership in enabling the enterprise with ‘new media’ skills and tools.” It says transparency is imperative in today’s business culture as information barriers are dissolving and networks of individuals are becoming the mechanism by which we communicate messages. The document asserts that corporations no longer have control of their “traditional spheres of professional activity,” which is to say, the no longer control the message. In some cases, they don’t control their own brands.
Please download the document and read it. There are some great assertions in there, particularly if you are a public relations or social media professional at an organization where communications is thought of as, “the folks who do our brochure.”
While the CEO big wigs that make up the society are influential and the message they are sending is important, my question is how many in the C-Level stratosphere will heed the advice? Will the very people who wrote the document do so?
Certainly the sudden surge in social media interest from corporations world wide is a complimentary indication the communications professionals in organizations everywhere are perhaps evolving into a position of higher influence and impact. But I can’t count how many times in the last 10 years I’ve heard how important PR is from the C-Suite. Maybe the lip service you get from PRSA materials and PR conventions really is the result of public relations pros just sitting around talking to themselves.
I only hope this isn’t just another round in that no-win fight or if communications professionals everywhere are finally off the undercard.
Is the chief communications officer in your organization in the board room? On the executive committee? Continually in the loop and counseled for advice on organizational decisions? Does your public relations department have an impact on the internal and external messaging of your organization? Are your social media experts getting more attention from the higher ups lately? If not, what can you do to change it?
Other Posts You’ll Find Interesting:
- A Manifesto For The New PR
- Why PR Doesn’t Work And How To Fix It
- Corporate Press Release/Statement Translation Tool
- Are We A “Profession?”