The health of the public relations business has started to rebound – at least in some sectors. While housing, construction and other segments of the U.S. economy continue to lag following the recession, a number of PR agency holding companies have registered nice gains in the recent quarter.
Another revealing gauge is the number of attendees for the biggest professional development event in PR, the Public Relations Society of America International Conference, which starts this weekend in Orlando. Numbers are steadily climbing toward pre-recession levels of 2,000 attendees.
One contributor to the rebound in PR activity is the erosion of silos between PR, marketing, advertising, investor relations and other communications disciplines. As organizations begin to understand there are no longer barriers between them and their key constituencies, PR stands alone as the function capable of one-one-one engagement with influencers – whether they are members of mainstream media or simply a mommy blogger with 200,000 followers.
Of course there are other factors, too. News organizations operate 24/7 today, and the amplification effect of social media means even seemingly innocuous local or niche trade media news can spread globally in minutes. Without effective listening and engagement strategies – lead by PR – reputations can be tarnished very quickly, sometimes beyond repair.
The Critical Mention team at PRSA in Orlando – tweeting under the hashtag #PRSAICON — will be interviewing industry thought leaders about these issues and other topics affecting practitioners, their clients, and the influencers who are the target of PR activities.
The purpose of this collection of short video interviews is to share some of the learnings, along with PR industry buzz, with those who are unable to make it to Orlando. Among those scheduled to participate:
- Geno Church, a self-described “Conversation Ditch Digger” at Brains of Fire, will share his thoughts on word of mouth.
- Deidre Breakenridge, who wrote a best-selling book in 2009 with Brian Solis, will speak about how PR and social media have matured, and where they are heading.
- A. Cory Maloy of Snapp Conner Public Relations will share observations of PRSA from the perspective of an independent agency.
More than a dozen additional interviews are slated from Sunday until Tuesday. If there are speakers or attendees you would like us to see on Critical Mention’s feed, let us know. Our team’s on-site email is PRSA@criticalmention.com
(Photo Credit: Chris Brogan image, by James Duncan Davidson, taken at Web 2.0 Expo NY in 2009. http://chrisbrogan.com )