There is a definite ring of confidence in the air as the PR industry hurdles toward the end of the year.For the first time in quite a while, we are setting aside the equivocating predictive of "cautious optimism," looking ahead to a year that will test the strength of in-house and agency teams that have reengineered themselves for greater success during the downturn.
PRWeek has undergone its own sea change over the past few years. A publication is, of course, an organic entity, fueled by regular dialogue with readers, as well as the changing array of talent that populates the masthead. This past year, we had substantial turnover in the New York editorial office. While one clearly loathes losing experienced people, our new reporters have brought fresh perspective to their beats and have energized our online presence. Our team is imbued with the same kind of confidence that we are feeling coming back to us from the market, albeit for very different reasons.
Editorially speaking, we are galvanized by the changes taking place in the market and by the new opportunities for PR. There has never been a better time to cover this industry - and we have never been in a better position to cover it. I am a great believer in the agenda-setting value of New Year's resolutions. For the benefit of our readers, and the PRWeek team, we're committed to the following principals for the coming year.
1. The days when PRWeek would join in the chorus lamenting the dire reputation of PR, unconstructively decrying the imbalance between ad budgets and PR budgets, and generally whining, "Why aren't we getting any respect?" are officially over. Please do not pitch any more ideas for roundtables of PR pros to discuss why no one likes the PR industry. We are not interested.
2. We will hold agencies more accountable for proving the benefits of their new practice areas and offerings, and challenge more aggressively blanket productization of PR programs. The goal of this is twofold: to demonstrate relative value of these programs to clients and to demonstrate relative value of these programs to the agency business.
3. In-house teams should be held accountable as much as agencies. We will make a greater effort to expose unprofessional, unethical, or simply poor practices on the client side with the same vigor that we have pursued the agency stories.
4. As we have seen through our features, our Marketing Management Survey, and the related conference, the broader marketing community cares about PR and is keen to learn more about using it. We are uniquely positioned to educate them, and owe it to our readers to do so.
5. We will serve as a critical, but highly engaged voice for the industry - exposing with new energy and commitment the best and worst it has to offer. May you all enjoy a safe and peaceful holiday season. Get some rest - you're going to need it.