PR newbies, your skills are more old school than you think

The author, a public relations professional who remembers the days before email, says practitioners young and old possess the same skills. They just use different tools.

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I was in the dial-a-telephone section.

The practice of PR today is filled with an immense amount of “old school PR” versus “new school PR” arguments. The press release is dead; the press release is alive and well. Call a reporter on the phone; don’t call a reporter on the phone.

Amid these contradictions, sometimes you have to stop and ask, “Can’t we all just get along?”

Without admitting my age, the first PR job I had out of college was done without email. Fax, snail mail and telephone ruled the world, much like dinosaurs once did. I spent plenty of time feeding the fax machine, sending out press releases and, subsequently, calling the reporter to make sure he or she received said release (unless they had a fax right there at the desk).

I would be laughed out of the industry if I ran my PR business the same way today. But I believe both schools of thought can co-exist. In fact, I believe technology is making it so that today’s PR is practiced a lot more like the “old school” way.

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