The old rules don't apply; embrace the new rules
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO

The old rules don't apply; embrace the new rules

Paul Holmes

According to this PR Week (UK) poll, 82 percent of public relations professionals think it’s not ok for journalists to “name and shame” persistent PR professionals. I have to admit that I am both disappointed and a little surprised by this, if only because it suggests to me that a lot of PR people are still living in the “old media” age. This kind of response reminds me of those mainstream journalists who complain about the fact that bloggers and “citizen journalists” don’t respect the traditional rules of the profession. Those journalists just sound old and tired and out of touch. The social media age is about transparency and accountability and the democratization of public discourse, which means that it will sometimes be rude and disrespectful and unpredictable. Where is it written that the worst thing that can happen to your press release is that a reporter ignores it? The new media age will be—is, already—a more difficult and dangerous place for public relations people to navigate. I’d argue that that’s a good thing—at least for good PR people. More to the point, I’d argue that PR people can either embrace it or fight against it; what I don’t think they can do—because that particular genie is out of the bottle—is change it.
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