There have been great debates about the future of PR and if there is one at all. Times continue to change, and PR practices have evolved immensely. A good part of the discussion focuses on the crop of graduates coming out of universities and if they can be trusted to shape a future for the PR profession. The editor-in-chief of PRWeek wrote this article http://www.prweek.com/article/1394934/i-seen-future-pr-works, addressing this debate after visiting Boston University’s College of Communication. Looking at the state of PR as it is, the possibilities are numerous but so are the prospective challenges.
Adapting to Digital Media
The advantage of digital media is one factor that has contributed to the evolution of PR. PR professionals that are entering the market currently have to deal with the integration of digital media into standard practices. However, it does not look like that will be a problem with the students of PR in colleges. This generation is one that has been born into the digital age. These are young adults who have grown up making friends on Facebook and following news on Twitter. In a world where a greater fraction of consumers gets their information online, PR professionals have had to adjust to suit those needs. Future pros will have no problems developing campaigns that capitalise on digital media.
Passing on Knowledge
Another take from looking at the case study of Boston University is veterans in the PR industry going back to school to teach young minds. Even with all the changes that the industry is going through, some things remain the same. The interactions between PR pros that have been in the field for years and incoming ones who still have a lot to learn speaks well for the future of PR. The people entrusted with the industry have to know where it all started and how to make use of those traditional practices. Granted that dynamics such as the PR-marketer, PR- journalist, and PR-consumer are experiencing changes, the traditional public relations is still powerful.
Students currently in communications school are getting enough ammunition to face the job market. There have always been complaints of graduates not being able to live up to the standards that employer are searching for. Colleges such as the BU and others are working harder to provide the best professionals in the field. Technologically advanced facilities such as production studios, research centres, radio, and TV stations have become familiar sights in PR schools. As this trend continues, the PR profession will see first timers that are well-equipped and with a unique understanding of how the technologically charged market works. The current generation of aspiring PR pros also expresses their interest in supporting humanitarian causes. Most of these sentiments originate from experiences; and therefore, act as motivation. PR students also have clear objectives of where they want to start and the best place to do it. A majority believe that working at a PR agency after graduating is the best course of action before handling clients.
Evaluating where the PR sector is heading requires a careful analysis for multiple variables. At a glance, the generation that is responsible for driving the industry forward appears to have everything well in hand, and that shows hope for PR.