Public relations practices are no longer the way they used to be. The developments have been fast. As early as 2011, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) invited the public to vote on the proper definition of public relations, and already the approved definition is old and out-of-date.
Public relations,according to PRSA, is a communications process that allows for and supports the relationship between organizations and the public they wish to address. The relationship, therefore, is mutually beneficial.
The problem with this definition is that it misses several vital components now considered as the norm in public relations. Today, social media, marketing, and other forms of technology are not covered by the official definition.
Speed of Delivery
Nowadays, PR is no longer a waiting game. It is an interactive play between the owners and originators of the PR and the public. Using networks like Facebook and Twitter, PR professionals can reach the public, which reacts to what they read or watch.
Although most journalists still prefer that PR practitioners reach them via email – a practice that has been around since the earlier days of email availability – PR professionals now use more ways to automate and make processes of delivery faster and more streamlined, hence their use of software as a platform for public relations.
This goes beyond simple vigilance, as PR professionals now need to be proactive and extremely tech-savvy.
All days of the year, on a 24/7 cycle, people are capable of keeping in touch, reacting, reviewing, rating, etc. because they have the Internet on their side. PR professionals who rely merely on old processes and continue to ignore the importance of social media and other tech-related practices, are missing out, and may soon be out of a job.
There is a multi-platform approach, starting from screen sizes and mobile capability, to the use of brand or storytelling journalism, search engine optimization, social media, thought leadership, niche marketing, and many others.
Public relations practitioners are no longer just PR people. They are all-around, heavily technology-supported, and more influential game-changers in their own right.