How is Public Relations Changing?



By Brianne Murphy Miller, director at Landis Communications Inc.


Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) was founded 25 years ago to expand local knowledge and to discover how to best serve clients in multiple markets. Like-minded independently owned and operated firms gathered together to share best practices, win worldwide business and enjoy the camaraderie of peers.

But a lot has changed in the industry since then…

The original PRGN founders shared their top 3 industry changes of the past quarter-century – and it boils down to speed, tech and blurred lines:

Anne Buchanan, Buchanan Public Relations

• The shrinking of traditional media has made securing coveted media placements more challenging.
• The collapse of walls that used to segment PR and advertising along with the deconstruction of the marketing communications industry: Who handles social? What does digital mean and should a PR firm offer it? Is the term “public relations” still relevant? There is both a lot of confusion – and many opportunities – in the field today.
The shift in what the “new” PR professional embodies: Anne finds herself looking for recent college grads who aren’t just great writers and news junkies – the “game ready” ones come with additional skills such as photography, videography, graphic arts, podcasting, etc.!


Scott Hanson, HMA Public Relations

• The globalization of communications. Agencies must have resources to meet the needs of international clients. The need to have cross-border capabilities didn’t really exist 25 years ago.
• Technology. Gone are the days of mailed press kits and media alerts sent via fax. Instant communication with virtually unlimited reach has changed the methods and the speed in communications.
The changing face of media. The challenges that traditional media have to survive amidst the lightning-quick evolution of social and digital media reflects how today’s consumers choose to get their information.


Edward M. Stevens, Stevens Strategic Communications

• Due to new technology and smartphones, news travels at an astronomical speed and the damage it can do is colossal — especially during a crisis situation.
The rise of PR and the fall of advertising has really evolved into the birth of social communications. This is defined as a blend of public relations, advertising, film-making, storytelling, digital marketing and direct mail.
Measurement and monitoring have become critical fixtures in every public relations program. Even though clients still are reluctant to pay for this service, they appreciate the reporting. It has become a cost of doing business for the results-driven PR firm.

Have you noticed any changes in PR? Leave a comment below or tweet us @LandisComm.

5 thoughts on “How is Public Relations Changing?

  1. Scott, Anne and Ed: many thanks for the great contributions (and Brianne, thanks for the blog). 25 years ago, I remember stuffing press releases into envelopes, faxing pitches to journalists and even using the telex machine. How times have changed! Cheers, David

  2. Most interesting to me is how social media is changing the PR game. The news cycle is so fast these days. What is breaking news at 9 a.m. may be old news by noon. It’s our job to help clients figure out where they fit and what stories they have to tell.

  3. Thank you Brianne for including my comments along with two of my long time PRGN–formerly Phoenix Network–friends. Lots has changed in the PR industry, but our friendships have remained constant. It has been exciting when our full service PR firm has collaborated with our Public Relations Global Network partners in both the United States and internationally. Our clients have received great results from the world’s best PR professionals.

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