When looking at PR blogs across the internet, one thing becomes clear: there are hundreds upon hundreds of them all clamouring for your attention. What is even clearer though, is that there are many things that the bloggers themselves have in common. Their thoughts and opinions on current PR events and movements are often similar and it is these findings that I am looking at now.
Firstly, there is a feeling amongst PR practitioners that social media is becoming a speciality that you need to focus on, rather than it being integrated into normal PR. Yet, even with this view, bloggers like Stuart Bruce have argued that you do not need to be either a social media practitioner or a PR practitioner, as one area simply leads to another.
Secondly, in relation to the previous point, Richard Bailey discusses that despite the rise of social media, many practitioners of PR still focus on print mediums rather than those which are online. He believes that this is mainly because PR clients demand this kind of exposure in print media. However, he also notes that in these two areas of media the underlying ways of practising PR should remain the same.
Thirdly, there will never be a return to the old days of journalists being able to go straight to the source for a story without PR practitioners getting in the way. Emily Turner has written about how business is now increasingly averse to risks about slipping up when releasing quotes, and a slip up can cause a PR nightmare. It’s this contempt that some journalists have for PRs that causes tensions and disrespect between the two parties. In reality, Turner balances out the two parties by saying that PRs and journalists jobs aren’t actually that different.
Fourthly, whilst PR may be touted as being outdated or not needed in a modern climate, Kami Huyse has discussed that PR will not be going anywhere, and in fact will be doing quite the opposite. She believes that instead of technology simply replacing PR, it will instead advance PR and make it more efficient rather than make it obsolete. This is an interesting view and one that I agree with as technology is surely broadening the horizons of PR rather than limiting it and resigning it to the bin.
Finally, there are increasingly interactive uses of Twitter originating from the governor of Florida’s office. Jim Horton has written about how the governor’s own communications director is using the social network to fight back against journalists and stories which he does not like. Whilst this may work in their favour, particularly if the public take their side – it is bad PR practice (and refers to the rift between PRs and Journalists in point three) as it pulls up mistakes made in a very public domain for all to see.
These feelings on PR, although across five different blogs, all do point to how PR practitioners are focussing closer and closer onto social networks, as well as the relations they have with journalists. Whilst using Twitter has been seen in a negative light which goes against the points that Turner had made about how to keep a good relationship with journalists, the advent of social media has also introduced many positive debates about how it will, or will not, affect PR in the future.