by Sarah Hall
There is a lot of talk about the threat to PR as disciplines merge.
Some argue that with the evolution of comms, PR and marketing are now one and the same. Many continue to assert that PR is a subset of marketing.
In truth, PR holds much greater value as a strategic management tool and is far from a dying art.
PR’s unique gift is its ability to build mutually beneficial relationships with an organisation’s stakeholders to help it achieve its goals. No other comms discipline has such influence or can complement and even correct other marketing techniques in the way PR can.
In 1999, Dr Jon White presented a paper to the Swiss Public Relations Society that stated that the future was bright for PR practitioners.
This was dependent on practitioners recognising ‘the opportunities presented by the environment and management needs’ and taking ‘steps to educate and train themselves’, as well as making ‘full use of communication technology, to provide reliable, if not indispensable, services to managers as they seek to deal with complexity and manage successful businesses.’
Very little has changed.
This is where #FuturePRoof comes in.
The aim of the #FuturePRoof books and community is to remind ourselves of the inherent value of PR and to increase awareness of the role it plays in driving business success.
Alongside this, the books are designed to provide a practical guide to some of the key issues facing the managers of comms teams today.
Their purpose is to drive up standards and professionalism, engender innovative thinking and to encourage PR practitioners to create disruption, not just embrace it.
#FuturePRoof and #FuturePRoof: Edition Two team with best practice advice and guidance thanks to the wealth of talent featured within them. They provide context on the world in which we operate today. They offer practical solutions to daily challenges while scanning the horizon and looking at how to identify and navigate ‘what’s next’.
Both have a stellar line up and I am grateful to all the contributors for giving up their time free of charge and sharing their expertise so generously.
My thanks also go to Stephen Waddington for helping to shape #FuturePRoof from concept through to fruition. Stephen has a special talent for building highly engaged communities for the greater good. It is by following this collaborative model that #FuturePRoof was realised.
However this is only the first stage in ensuring the PR industry continues to thrive in years to come.
The next part of the journey is to communicate to employers and the business community why PR should form part of the strategic management function and its importance to organisational success. It needs strong leadership and decisive action. If you’d like to get involved with this part of #FuturePRoof’s work, I’d love to hear from you.
Sarah Hall is a pioneer of best practice in the PR industry. The holder of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations' Sir Stephen Tallent’s medal 2014 for exceptional achievement in PR practice, she has established a reputation as an ethics tsar and gender and equality advocate through her work with the Institute. Outside of her voluntary commitments, you’ll find her running her own PR and marketing business and being Mum to two small boys.
Sarah Hall Consulting Ltd