Modern PR Series: What You Need to Know About Public Relations Today

Getting Started, PR Updates

Modern PR Series: What You Need to Know About Public Relations Today

Jan 13, 2009 | Getting Started, PR Updates

Modern PR Series: What You Need to Know About Public Relations Today

Jan 13, 2009 | Getting Started, PR Updates

The times they are a’changin.

If you’re working in marketing communications or PR, you’ve no doubt encountered this already. With the now fast-changing media landscape, in many ways we’re in the Wild Wild West. The rules have yet to be established, and not everyone agrees on what the future will hold.

In this atmosphere, PR-bashing has become quite a popular sport on blogs, as has pontificating about the prospects for the public relations industry as a whole. But a few key themes have emerged in recent months that have real and lasting implications for the practice of public relations and for our profession.

In many cases, there’s a lot of “inside baseball” involved in the coverage of these hot topics, as top bloggers build their case upon the writings of other thought leaders (and sometimes assume a certain amount of prior knowledge on the part of the reader). But what if you were on a mad deadline during the period a particular topic was most vigorously discussed, and missed half (or all of) the story?

This is the first in a series of posts that will strive to help, by delivering an overview of the latest insights and expert commentary. As independent PR and MarCom pros, it’s our responsibility to remain forward-looking and provide leadership to our clients. The Modern PR series will cover the critical issues that have been the source of much discussion recently, like embargoes, social press releases, PR’s reputation, and more.

I’ll look forward to hearing your responses and feedback, as well. While there may be some current prevailing wisdom on these topics, all of us in this business bring our own valuable experiences and understanding to the discussion.

Without question, this is truly an exciting time to be in PR! Those who stay abreast of the changes and adapt to the evolving climate will thrive. So, stay tuned for the next posts in the “Modern PR” series, and subscribe to Solo PR Pro to learn more about the evolution underway in the public relations business.

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Photo credit: onlyberlin

Written By Kellye Crane
Kellye Crane is the founder of Solo PR Pro, which provides the tools, education, advocacy and community resources needed for indies to succeed and grow. She's a veteran and award-winning communicator with more than 20 years of experience - 19 of them solo.


  1. Oh Kellye! I’m getting all tingling thinking about the future conversations about this series. Bravo!

    Jen Wilbur’s last blog post..who’s hole is it anyway?

  2. Thank you, Jen! I’m very much looking forward to the conversation and input from the community, myself.

  3. Kellye,
    This is a great idea. I am getting tired of the pr bashing meme, but I do think that we all have to stay on top of the changes and listen to what our clients and target audience want from us.
    As a non-tech PR person, I find it interesting to follow all of this talk. My entertainment clients have no idea what a twitpitch is or a SMR. They only care if the NY Times gets their message. My small biz clients don’t care what method I use to convey their message…they trust that I will tweak my pitches for the appropriate outlets.
    And that’s all this pr bashing is really about. They are saying talk to me the way I want to be talked to. This guy wants twitpitches, another one wants OPML, and outlet X wants SMR’s. All of us who are paying attention, are making the necessary adjustments.
    I have a MTV News contact who has a great presence on Twitter. He told me that if he received a pitch on Twitter or Facebook, he would unfollow said person. Another writer won’t listen to any mp3’s I send. He wants a CD. If I don’t pay attention to these folks, then I deserve to be bashed.
    It’s our job to find that out about all of our media contacts. But you already know this. Your observations on all things PR have been right on. I suspect many other PR professionals know it as well, but we are just going about our business quietly. It’s more important to let the message speak louder than our methods.
    In my opinion.

    Bryan R. Adams’s last blog post..Five Tools Of The Networking Trade

  4. @Bryan – Thanks for your excellent comment! The activities you describe are the complete opposite of the spammer-types, and are the mark of a true professional. As you say, it’s what all the best PR folks do, and others can learn from your example.

  5. @Bryan – I agree with Kellye.  Excellent comment. I just had a training session couple of weeks ago with a …journalist!  It was one of the best training sessions I have gotten so far.  The biggest thing he explained in that session that PR practitioners- us!- need to put the human relation in public relation. This is the reason this is a job that takes so much time, it is a REQUIREMENT to know -at least what are their style or what they are expecting – who is on the receiving end in order to be successful and form a great partnership with the client.  On a side note, I also do believe that clients absolutely need to be trained as well in regards to how the field actually works…My boss once told me this phrase: “It takes time to build a communication”

  6.  @Bryan -I typed to fast but of course I agree with you too!

  7. You’re right – too many people look for the lazy short cuts, but they don’t work! Thanks for your comment.