To really understand what PR is, you must look backward and reach forward. For a 45-year veteran of this profession, three things ring true of the past:
· In the “old days” relationships with clients were always strong. You became professional friends with one another, counting on each other on a daily basis.
· A premium was placed on creativity and imagination, and as a result marvelous things often happened.
· Writing was also at a premium. The best PR folks were wonderful writers who truly knew the King’s English and had read the best that true literature has to offer. This background and relentless penchant for quality was always noticeable in their work.
Today there is more need for good strategy and quality content than ever before because there are more media offerings than ever before. But the trouble is too often the emphasis is placed on the technology of communicating and not on clear, resonant, and compelling messages. Messages that must come from a good base of writing.
In the future the bet is that we will revisit the past. Because bland, uninteresting communication that reaches the “right” medium and the “right” audience doesn’t work. It never worked. Nor do insincere relationships, often inspired by the new technology.
Content and effective dialog are king.
Those who craft and carve the best content and communication strategies will most effectively reach the desired audiences. Those who rely on loopy language and a smattering of facts and data conveyed in some high tech, whiz-bang, social way might not.
As traditional media take a severe whack to their vital organs, social and specialized media are virally upon us and will assert themselves even more intensively in the days ahead. But who will be the caretakers of the words? The adage "Garbage in, garbage out" comes to mind. Anyone can type words – but not everyone can move mountains with those words. The vehicles may change over the years, but quality content will always be an art form.
50-year PR veteran, Ron Watt, Sr. is a creative consultant with Watt + Company.