Traditional PR: Is it dead?


tree rings
A tree stump displaying some nice rings.

I recently had an epiphany about PR. PR is like trees and their age rings. Earth-shattering? Not really, but it’s something that I think may help budding PR pros in the current and future technological landscape to come.

As technology continues to evolve, new mediums are created all the time. With each new medium the question: “Is traditional PR dead?” always comes up.

The answer to this is widely debated but it’s my observation that no, it isn’t dead. Every time another medium is developed we simply gain another ring on the tree. Plain and simple, traditional PR will always be around because there is a need for it. Rings will continually be added to the tree and PR pros will be expected to keep up with new media and technology. However, with these changes come new opportunities for PR to adapt and creatively get the message out.

Short messaging with new media

When Vine debuted it was initially viewed as a fun way to make a 6-second looping video and share it with the world. Within the last few months, Vine has become much more than that as brands are creating unique ways of promotion. Press releases and traditional advertising have started to appear throughout newer channels, such as Vine, Instagram and Twitter, and it’s only a matter of time before it is commonplace. Six seconds doesn’t allow for a lot of content so paring down the message to its essential elements allows creativity to permeate the simple, concise messages that must be developed.

Twitter initially forced marketers to rethink their messages so that they could be condensed into 140 characters, something that seems to have become commonplace in the last few years. Bite-sized pieces of information satisfy the mobile consumers of today and by honing the key messages we are able to utilize new mediums and all they have to offer.

Tree

Now that we’re starting to see messages condensed to 6 seconds, it’s only a matter of time until we face the next messaging obstacle. What that obstacle will be I can’t say, but if we take a step back we can begin to see the symbiotic relationship between PR and dendrochronology. Each new medium adds another ring to the tree, building upon the roots that have nourished the tree all along. And the nourishment that is the fundamental foundation of PR is something we will never lose.


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