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Richard Bailey
Public relations educator and magazine editor
Public relations educator and magazine editor

Richard's posts

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Advice for new and returning students.

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Should be good news for this year's PR graduates.

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Retiement reflection from a public relations educator.

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Paid PR training scheme for black, asian and minority ethnic graduates.

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Here's an interesting post from Chris Norton and an excellent follow-up comment from Andrew Bruce Smith on the PR-SEO debate.

That fact that others want a slice of the PR action suggests to me why we need to confidently assert our value (and value our services).

Is PR dead? Let me say I'm interested in Robert Phillips's thinking but have not finished his book.

Here's how the state of PR looks to me.

As I explain it to students, the dual purpose of PR is to promote and to protect.

Under promotion, PR is not dead, but it's facing an onslaught from those who lay a claim to its territory (eg content marketers, digital agencies and, increasingly, ad agencies too). This was the theme of our last discussion on this forum.

Under protection, the business is booming and has great potential - but will PR advisers have the clout to fend off the lawyers, management consultants and other trusted corporate advisers? Tim Burt has written well about PR and reputational risk in Dark Art (published in 2012).

So, PR is clearly not dead (yet), but not all PR practitioners are fit for purpose.

There's an individual challenge (as well as a collective challenge) for us to future-proof our services.

Hint: if you're still chasing news coverage, counting clippings and inventing AVEs then the clock is ticking...

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This PR Week interview with Sir Martin Sorrell is essential reading. Who better to comment on PR's place in the comms and marketing mix?

'In this digital age, PR has an advantage. Campaigns for all clients increasingly resemble political campaigns. Digital and social media make communication more challenging. You can lose reputation that has taken many decades to build, in a simple click. This should put good PR at the centre of things.'

To me, #prredefined  is much more than an intellectual or academic discussion. It's also about much more than just defining public relations.

It's also an intensely practical discussion about a fast-changing world.

To illustrate this, here are some real world job titles held by PR graduates I've taught or come to know:

'Communications Manager: Culture, Customers and Communities'
'Content Marketing Manager'
'Head of Social Media'
'Social and PR Manager' (for a digital agency)
'Digital PR and Social Account Manager' (for a digital/SEO agency)
'Director of Marketing Innovation'
'Events and Content Manager'

In other words, PR graduates are comfortable navigating the digital and marketing worlds as well as that of 'traditional' PR.

We can either stick with an outdated worldview and accept a narrow definition of public relations - or we can adapt to the changing world and realise the full potential of PR.

Which is it to be?
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