As a new member to the world of blogging, I decided to Google PR blogs and see what else is out there. I came across Naked PR, a blog written by Jennifer Mattern. Mattern refers to her blog as “cutting through the crap in online public relations” among other things. In reading her blog, which is quite interesting (although uses the occasional expletive), I discovered the entry “Journalism is Dead?”, a post about a media summit in which those attending discuss the concept of journalism and PR as a dying profession because everyone these days is a “communicator.”
The issue with this belief is that while everyone is indeed a “communicator,” not everyone is skilled to practice PR or journalism. It is a studied profession in which we are taught the correct way to go about our jobs in an ethical fashion. I find it hard to believe that the two professions will disappear because without both, many businesses could not survive. I do agree with the notion that the profession must be more than a press release, as Neville Hobson states, but I think that it’s already more than that. The creation of a PR campaign requires an educated team of PR professionals who know how to go about planning and executing a successful campaign. It isn’t all about press releases.
What do you think of the idea of PR and journalism being dying professions?
In the past few days there has been quite an uproar from the media due to the McCain campaign’s continued sheltering of Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin. On Tuesday and Wednesday she met with world leaders from the United Nations for the first time, and her campaign attempted to only allow photographers into the meetings. The journalists involved refused to take pictures if there was not an editorial presence there. They compromised at allowing the editorial presence, but only for mere moments.
Is it OK for Governor Palin’s public relations representative to say no to the press? The campaign has allowed for almost no questions from the media. Is that their right? As public relation’s people, how do we balance the need to be in control of certain things while still being ethical? And couldn’t this type of “hiding” cause a backlash from the media, who we need to have good relations with? It may have already caused ripples with some news outlets, but perhaps the campaign decided it was worth it.
Thursday, Governor Palin opened up questions to four reporters, so I thought maybe they decided to let her show a bit of herself. Then I realized that she only answered questions of her choosing. Is this all an ingenious strategy or do you think that the public will eventually get tired of it? I don’t mean to be picking at Governor Palin, I think many in the field of public relations use this strategy, but does that make it right?
Over at Bad Pitch Blog, the discussion on the demise of journalism is taking place. Kevin Dugan evaluates how quickly print outlets, especially newspapers, are to to layoff reporters due to the slumping economy and also the fact that the Internet is taking over – everything. He delves into how these cutbacks may or may not affect the public relations community.
It is no surprise that traditional journalism has been evolving with time along with every other industry out there. Our society is certainly technology driven and the majority of people can take in their news via the Internet which saves them time and saves them from the inevitable inky fingers.
How does the transformation of print media to a domination of online media affect PR? I think it will especially change the way we pitch. When building media lists, I focus on digital media targets because the chances of my client being read about in a popular blog with a large following (even though I hope blogging will not completely replace journalism), seems to be more likely nowadays then being read about in a local newspaper somewhere west of the Mississippi.
How do you fellow PR people feel about it? Should we concentrate more on pitching the online world or still give equal attention to where it all started; conventional print journalism. Also, because there seems to be a growing trend across the nation of letting go well-respected and veteran journalists, does that mean PR professionals are next? Should we be nervous that we are entering a field that may also be on the brink of demise? Or should we feel the opposite as Kevin suggests, that the decline of print media leaves more room for us to be successful and take over what “once ruled”?