It got me thinking about how PR still faces major challenges, largely due to misperceptions about its role and relevance.
As an attempt to build on Doug’s great start, here are five things the PR industry can do to matter more:
1. Increase practitioners’ financial literacy. Too few of us know how to read financial statements and talk to the “bean counters” in accounting. Increasing baseline business knowledge will bring the industry more credibility. This may involve changes to the curriculum of PR programs.
2. Keep stressing the “public” side of public relations. For a long time, we were the “media relations department,” a collection of press release hawking monkeys. Things have certainly changed, but we must continue to emphasize our skills as community builders and our adeptness at stakeholder relations.
3. Continue the campaign against spin. The backlash against spin is now years old, but still we are identified with the word. Dare I say it: spin will never die? But the industry must keep stressing transparency as the guiding principle.
4. Stay on top of tech. Technological competence is now a must for PR pros. The more we become the go-to people for advice on how to leverage tech, the more relevant we’ll be.
5. Be connectors and hubs. In a general sense, all marketing disciplines are meshing together more than ever. The more PR understands the basics of search, paid media, etc., the more we can connect the dots and be viewed as a key player.
A version of this story first appeared on the author’s blog Proper Propaganda.