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I recently came across an article in Fast Company with a headline that boldly claimed, “the PR industry is failing.”

As you can imagine, that was a shocking bit of news. Not only to me, but to my PR agency colleagues who have built careers in this industry.

Instead of panicking and firing off resumes for jobs ranging from dragon slayer to mad scientist, we decided to take a deeper look. As the article mentions, the industry isn’t actually dying. In fact, it’s growing at an average rate of 7 percent annually. What's really happening is an evolution spurred by technology and the Digital Age.

Nothing stays the same. Consider our favorite evolutionary case study: Dinosaurs. Of course, these creatures didn’t spring magically into existence. Like all living things, they evolved slowly and gradually from existing creatures. But unlike most animals that continue to evolve over time, dinosaurs met an abrupt and brutal end. Instant annihilation is unlikely to happen to an industry worth $14 billion, unless the threat of a nuclear apocalypse becomes a reality.

Still, there’s a lesson to be learned here. In order to remain relevant and useful in an age of instant access, social media and 24-hour news cycles, the industry that has long been defined by careful messaging and reporter relationships must adapt accordingly. And at the rate things are changing, it must do so quickly in order to survive.

As the industry shifts, it will be necessary for internal and external PR executives to conquer four key areas:

  • Reaching the TL;DR generation
  • Understanding that press releases are no longer enough
  • Preparing for the video-first revolution
  • Leveraging social as the new Google

Our PR for the Digital Age eGuide offers a detailed look at these trends and more to help your business thrive in light of the rapid transformation of communication. 

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