Friday, October 5, 2012

PRjournalism or Content Management as a Career in PR

PRjournalism (PRournalism) or Content Management as a Career in PR  for 10th edition of Advertising &IMC: Principles and Practice Sandra Moriarty (Author), Nancy D Mitchell (Author), William D. Wells (Author)
Clarke Caywood Ph.D.,
Professor, Medill School, Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. He is author of The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communications, 2012. Inspired by Handbook Chapter by Smith and Caywood

One trend that suggests journalism and public relations have a future in organizations other than traditional reporting. The trend is seen in Technorati (2011) trends in blogging on the subjects of business and technology. They increasingly dominate non-hobbyist sectors of the blogging field providing journalism style content and a promised degree of journalistic credibility.  Technorati stated that Professional Part- and Full-Time bloggers represent 18% of the total group. Independent bloggers use blogging as a way to supplement their income, or consider it their full-time job. Technorati also notes that corporate bloggers make up 8% of the blogosphere. They blog as part of their full-time job or blog full-time for a company or organization they work for. These bloggers primarily talk about technology and business in their blogs. Thirteen percent of the blogosphere is characterized as entrepreneurs or individuals blogging for a company or organization they own. 84% of these bloggers blog primarily about the industry they work in, with 46% blogging about business and 40% about technology.  Blogging, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Avatar sites, even newspapers, magazines and broadcast will demand more outlets not necessarily lead by traditional journalists but by a new career path of PRournalists combining PR and journalism as modern content managers and providers. 

Public relations and journalism as “Prournalism” - First C:  Content

The first issue of “who will provide content” is a contemporary topic that is argued by surviving members of the press, by researchers in the automated delivery of journalism and by investors in new media systems.  If a precipitous decline in the numbers of traditional news hunters and gatherers means a relative decline in content; then new sources for news content, information and even entertainment content will have to be developed, staffed and supported. The content will certainly be needed for the rapidly increasing numbers of newer channels of communications.  However, while traditional journalistic channels are dying in some countries, they are growing rapidly in others such as China.  The growth and demand for content includes the growth of advertising and public relations to feed the dragon. Journalism has always been an experimenter in new media as has public relations. From a mirror perspective, both fields have served the public and their audiences with useful content and often credible communication standards.  Caywood and Smith in Caywood, 2012.

The future seems to be the logical placement of traditional journalists and new journalists into a wide range of organizations from hospitals, to NGOs, to churches, to government and politics to the largest potential content provider - business.  New “third party journalists” may be former journalists and new crops of young journalists able and willing to deliver content. They will likely deliver this content from their catbird seat in many legitimate organizations with huge quantities of digital information to share for free.  Editors in surviving journalistic pipelines may be charged with determining the credibility of the content of the wider and wider range of content providers. This may be more proactive than simply tossing away the past high percent of public relations generated content. 


Second C:  Credibility

Credible content and context may be most critical during a crisis in any institution. Based on the research literature of the value of communication during organizational crises, it is fair to suggest that each of the institutions in crisis or calamity conditions would benefit from professional communications. (Englehart in Caywood, 2012). Academic fields such as public relations and organizational communications define themselves in thought and practice as offering to retain, regain and maintain the reputation of organizations and their leaders using behavior and two-way (or more) communications.

The field of public relations is defined as “the profitable integration of an organization’s new and continuing relationships with stakeholders, including customers, by managing all communication contacts with the organization that create and protect the brand and reputation of the organization. Caywood, 1997 and 2012 (Kindle Edition 2009/2012) and “Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.” PRSA, 2009,) There must be trust and credibility in that relationship.    In the past decade most of our cherished institutions have lost their credibility as defined by trust (Edelman Trust Barometer or according to the public view (Pew Research 

All institutions are loved, abhorred or not noticed by one stakeholder group or another at some point in time.  Who will speak credibly about the missions of our social, economic, political and governmental organizations? It seems reasonable to suggest that the students from journalism/advertising/public relations programs with their long tradition of credibility and content development through teaching of journalistic knowledge and skills can provide an educated and trained source of institutional creditability and content.

No comments: