The Big Trend Hitting the PR Industry — Collaboration
Technology has made it easier than ever to service clients in real time wherever they are and remote working has really taken off in the PR industry with every agency having gone virtual. As our work evolves rapidly, our options diversify and a new way of working has emerged. Multiple income streams become the norm. As networks for collaboration open up, we find it easier to take on large-scale projects with dozens of collaborators distributed across the globe.
One size fits all is based on scarcity, but today we have abundance. Idea exchanges and communities will build each other up by lending their skills to a network. As PR professionals, we always have our finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist — we immerse ourselves in culture, industry, trends, research and more to understand what perceptions are and how they are influenced. We are experts in what we communicate and why. The future is how we communicate and where.
The democratisation of information presents PR with an opportunity and a challenge. The world is crowded with information and competition for the attention of any audience is fierce. Disseminating your voice from a disorientating array of headlines and online chatter, remaining authoritative and influential can all be aided and informed by other industries. We now no longer operate in silos but rather borrow and blend best practices from related industries.
The nature of our craft is in influence, as well as communication, publicity and reputation management. If everyone can reach anyone at any time, the merit of this communication can be minimal. The media, both in print and online, is a significant force in modern culture. Traditional institutions like broadsheet newspapers play as important a role as modern pillars of the media landscape. For PR to succeed, we must monitor what these institutions are doing not only to inform our own practices but to ensure we understand the changing face of news.
Pressure on the media industry has paved the way for innovation and creativity in journalism and other industries. In PR, our skills are still instinctively aligned with content and communication but how we harness the resources available to us and how we respond to the changing news and media landscape creatively will ensure we remain ahead.
What we will increasingly see is an ecosystem that supports external collaboration — a modern, portable conference room and collaboration tools — we already have those resources at our disposal. At the heart of collaboration has to be connection. Working collaboratively does not equate to being in some form of work commune where decisions are not made. Teams still need decision-makers, but often the decision at the end of the collective work will be easy and clear to all because of that sense of ownership.
Decentralisation gives power back to the individual. The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team. Being willing to collaborate instead of competing is the secret to long term success.
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. Henry Ford