Public Relations Global Network was founded 25 years ago to expand local knowledge into a communications provider that can 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…

Three original PRGN founders shared their top 3 industry changes of the past quarter century with us – and it pretty much boils down to speed, tech, blurred lines and measurement:

Anne Buchanan, Buchanan Public Relations

• Shrinking of traditional media – it’s made securing coveted media placements more challenging
• Collapse of the 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 a lot of opportunity – in the field today.
• The shift in what the “new” PR professional embodies: I find myself looking for recent college grads who aren’t just great writers and news junkies – the really “game ready” ones come with additional skills such as photography, videography, graphic arts, podcasting, etc.!

Scott Hanson, HMA Public Relations

• The globalization of communications. The need to have cross-border capabilities didn’t really exist 25 years ago. Today, an agency must have those resources in its arsenal to be able to meet the needs of international clients.
• 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 which we communicate.
• 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 our new technology and smart phones, the speed news travels and the collateral damage it can do is astronomical—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.

What’s YOUR number one change? Leave a comment below or tweet us @PRGN.

4 thoughts on “PRGN at 25 – Change is the Only Constant in PR

  1. PRGN started about the same time as LCI (we just celebrated 27 years in business in San Francisco). I still remember: manual typewriters, faxes, teletypes, stuffing envelopes and mailing press kits to journalists. One thing still hasn’t changed: the relationships we foster are the keys to our PR success. Thanks for a great blog, Brianne – and thank you to our founders: Anne, Scott and Ed. Cheers, David Landis, LCI, San Francisco

  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 belong in the world of news.

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