Monday, March 29, 2010

What If He Is Right? 

If this fellow is right about the fate of journalism schools, then PR programs should be trembling as well. His point is that experts in various fields will become the new journalists and not those taught to report "he-said-she-said" journalism. In PR, the same holds true. Those who are the most valuable come out of fields they represent. They are experts first and communicators second. I've long been skeptical about PR as an academic curriculum. The advent of new media increases that skepticism. On the other hand, if professors of public relations and communications are able to adapt to the new environment, they might bring some value to the field and future practitioners. That's a big "if", however.


The key point here is who is able to add value in this new landscape.
The point is well made that frontline hacks can't add value by going through the motions of journalism when readers have access to an open market in expertise and credibility.
It's also true that the most credible and engaging content often comes from people who are subject matter experts first and communicators second.
These people will always need someone to brief, support, coach and point them in the right direction; to identify them and nurture them and generally enable and encourage them to be communicators.
If the PR professors are going to add some value, they should have in mind the symbiosis between comms professionals giving strategic and practical support, and experts as figureheads and content creators.

Another big "if".

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