Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Some public relations efforts are measured in decades and not in months or years. This is one. The internet community has known since the 1990s that the system was running out of internet numbers. No one was about to change from IPv4, however, because of the costs for equipment. Now we are near the end of the IPv4 cycle and ISPs are being forced to go to the more robust IPv6. They are only doing so because they have to. The role of PR in a situation like this is to keep awareness of the situation before the targeted publics -- the ISPs -- with the understanding that change will be forced eventually. When the time comes, the public will know what it needs to do. There are other programs that have been measured in decades -- the effort to stop smoking, for example, heart disease and diabetes awareness, wearing of seat belts. PR practitioners involved in these efforts measure gains in tiny fractions and learn patience. They are reconciled to spending their careers on one issue when most of us would give up and move on.