Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Should PR Practitioners Learn Programming? 

Here is an interesting proposal from a journalism teacher for changing curricula to a digital focus.  Rather than newspapers and magazines, she is calling for teaching multimedia.  Her view is correct.  Journalism schools to survive have to change, so what about PR? Public relations, because it is so close to journalism, also needs to shift focus to digital media.  In fact, large agencies have already done so.  But programming?  Probably not.  It is easy to forget that even in traditional media, skill sets were broken into specialties - photography, design, production, distribution.  Inevitably the same will happen, if it has not already done so, in multimedia.  Practitioners will learn how to use systems but few will gain the knowledge to create them.  One can look on this as a problem or just the way the world works.  Practitioners need to know enough about programming to know what is possible, but they shouldn't have to hack code.  The digital age is like traditional media -- multiple specialties producing, formatting and distributing content.

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