There’s a saying in the high-end rag trade: “Fashion is seasonal. Style is forever.”
The same applies to most industries. Public relations is no exception, especially not the high-stakes niche of Crisis & Reputation Management.
For a while, there was a season when all that seemed to matter to many people was digital and social media as the driver of what was news and what wasn’t. New kid on the block. Exciting. Fast-paced. Everywhere at once. It was the fashion.
But seasons come and go. They also evolve.
Are digital and social media still critical? Of course. Will they be in the future? Ever more so. Are tectonic shifts occurring that will further reshape the landscape? Absolutely.
From the get-go, digital and social media had a weakness as a source of news: Poor credibility. They gave voice to anyone, on the theory that everyone was intelligent, committed to finding the truth (not spreading rumors and bias), and had the temperament and ability to do the hard work necessary to unearth facts. Since then, digital and social media have matured, to some degree.
Meantime, the top tier of traditional print media, with its gravitas and depth of journalistic talent, has spread its reach deeper into the realm of digital and social media. It had long set the tone — the “style” — for all media. Its reign was challenged, but it wasn’t dethroned. It evolved.
The traditional and digital worlds, once separate and antagonistic, are merging. In a decade, a new paradigm will have emerged. Guessing what it will look like in detail is a fool’s errand. Enough to say that it will be different, probably very much so.
What’s this bode for Crisis & Reputation Management? It must continually adapt to shifts in the basic nature of journalists. But that’s always been the essence of our trade.
“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”
Gillott Communications is a Los Angeles-based public relations firm that specializes in high-stakes Crisis & Reputation Management. If you don’t already subscribe, please sign up for our blog Insights on High-Stakes PR. You can reach Roger Gillott directly at 310-826-8696.