Last week, I was asked the rather pointed question: “So Paul, what do you think is wrong with PR?” The context and inference was that the PR industry is on its knees, desperately clinging on to the last vestiges of respectability, profit and hope. Then I read a post on PR Daily (which had previously been covered on PR Breakfast Club) which goes along the lines of ‘PR deserves respect, rubbish definition, alternative definition, heart of PR, yada, yada…’
The ‘PR is dying’ meme has been circulating around and around to the point of tedium. And therein lies the problem. So let’s get it straight. Once and for all. Right here, right now. PR is NOT dying. Some PR agencies are dying. Some PR consultants are dying (not literally, I hope). But PR as an industry is not dying.
The issue we, as an industry, have is that we’re absolutely awful at PRing ourselves. Shockingly bad. We’re like the builder who lives in a ruin of a house, or the chef who eats microwave meals every night. PRs themselves are to blame for the industry’s poor reputation. We fight, we bicker, we try to redefine ourselves to make ourselves seem relevant when we should simply be getting on and doing the job at hand. Step away from it and look from the outside and it’s like a schoolyard.
The marketing industry is laughing at us as we implode. And I don’t blame them. For every progressive PR consultancy that is actively developing an in-house SEO offering and establishing beneficial partnerships with digital experts, there are ten scrabbling around in the mire of media relations and talking, talking, talking. Is the marketing industry superior to us? No. But what they’re not doing is perpetuating any myths about how awful they are. They’re just doing the job while we make a laughing stock of ourselves.
THAT is what’s wrong with PR. It’s us! We’ve started to believe and to propagate the hype. So how about, right now, we agree, as one, to stop talking about whether or not we have a future and start proving our worth?
Like this post? Subscribe to FutureComms and get it straight to your inbox.