How PR has shifted over three decades

Here’s what one industry veteran has catalogued as the biggest changes to public relations since the late 1970s. Hint: Things are busier.

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The speed of news: Information circulation is 10 times faster or more than what it was when I started in the business. We depend on email and phone communication and don’t have time to rely on mail or FedEx, which has brought both good and bad to the field.

We are a “now now now” culture, and are expected to react as such. We used to have a 24 hour news cycle, now it’s up to the minute. News cycles can shift hourly. The PR industry is 24/7, and emails are expected to be answered in real time. These types of demanding hours and requests result in multitasking professionals driven to understand, develop and fit into the news landscape. Attention spans, especially those of managers, are decreased to those of a gnat.

Journalists used to have time to sit and fact check their stories with multiple sources. Now, with online outlets working at accelerated speeds, accountability and ability to back up research is compromised due to strict deadlines, even with the internet at their fingertips.

The media landscape: You would be hard pressed to find too many people under 30 years old who read the print edition of a newspaper every morning. No matter how many other forms of news I’m able to digest, sitting and holding a newspaper is still one of the most important forms of news delivery.

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