Poll results: A PR consultant’s job is getting harder

Almost half of you think that your job is getting harder. New technologies such as social media to master, a whole new realm of influencers in the blogosphere to navigate, condensed time-to-market for company products and services, and the increasing internationalization of news and marketing are all contributing factors, I’d suggest. Plus I think the sophistication of the PR process is greater now, and therefore more demanding.

The other half of you believe that the role is as hard as it has always been – just different. Whereas you maybe used to spend your time wrestling with faxes and phones, now it’s email and IM. Whereas before you focused purely on the media, you now split your time with bloggers too. The tools and the priorities may be different but the essential art and science of PR is still fundamentally the same.

Interestingly, only one person felt that all the new technologies which are supposed to save us time, and all the new direct, interactive channels that are open to us, have actually made the process of PR communication easier.

I asked this question since I wanted to see where we’re going. Will tomorrow be harder than today? What does this mean for those joining our industry? Or do we simply look back through rose-tinted glasses and forget just how hard it was say five, ten years ago? I seem to remember it being pretty demanding then too – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • I went to a blogging conference in the UK last week and there was much concern about this from PR agencies.
    I am trying to develop it as a PR tool but the ROI will be difficult for them to justify in advance, they have to be interested in social media. The Brits are reserved and may be much slower to enhance the openness of blogging, but will prefer podcasting.
    I am interested in researching a book on the political benefits of social media. If you have any info on the impact blogging had during your last election, which links would be useful, which politicians blog prolifically in the US, the public’s view about this, I would be most grateful.

  • Hi Ellee – thanks for your comment. A few thoughts – I actually think Brits are now embracing blogging more fervently. It’s hard to track since all English language blogs are grouped together, but from the people I know, it’s becoming less ‘geeky’ and more mainstream. Brits are good at media, so I think both blogging and podcasting will be warmly embraced. The issue you point to is more prevalent in Germany, where people are more conservative (with a small c) about sharing their views, unlike our French cousins.
    I’m afraid that I’m probably not the best person to ask for guidance on the impact of blogging on the US election. I’m a Brit, as it happens, so a mere spectator in the process here. The usual sources of political blogs such as Instapundit, would be a good place to start. I would also suggest Hugh Hewitt’s book, Blog, which covers the topic of the birth of political blogging in the US (and indeed blogging in general).
    I’m actually a little closer to blogging in UK politics, albeit vicariously. My firm works with Liam Fox, and helped to set up his website and blog during his leadership run. I was also privileged to have dinner with Lynton Crosby recently in Australia, who ran the PR for the Conservatives, as you probably know. If you’re interested in this topic, the best person to talk to is Clive Booth in my UK office (020 7802 2626) – he ran as an MP for Yorkshire East (Con), and is much more a political wonk than me.
    Hope that helps!