The Reshaping of Public ...


The best content wins.

The rise of digital communications and forms of digital marketing see to that.

This never-ending thirst for content is recasting the PR profession. The chart below (source: LinkedIn and Recode) depicts job hires in the U.S. by function over the past 14 years (source: LinkedIn).



No surprise, the job market for journalists has flat lined. This has been going on since the internet took hold, leading to the invention of Craig’s list, the cratering of classified advertising revenue and eventually media advertising in general.

Turning our attention to PR/Comms, this data would have you believe that the profession started to decline in 2011 hitting rock bottom in 2015 where it’s been sputtering ever since. I don’t think this reflects reality.

The skyrocketing growth of the content jockeys as well as social media often fall in the communications scope as defined today to include owned media and even paid media. In other words, because content has always underpinned public relations, organizations are now turning to these professionals to support the corporate blog, social channels and sponsored content. Yet, their job titles may or may not reflect toiling under the PR or communications umbrella.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling clothing or computer servers, the target audience will conduct some form of due diligence with online searches. There’s a reason that Google takes into account how long an individual spends on a given page of content in determining whether that content gets served up for searches. Google figures that if people take the time to consume the content, it must be high-quality content.

That’s what we’re after, developing content that serves the target audience.

That simple concept is driving today’s communications profession.

There’s a great line in the 1967 Academy Award-winning movie, “The Graduate,” in which Mr. McGuire offers career advice to Dustin Hoffman’s character, Benjamin, touting the virtues of plastics.

If that same scene were to be reenacted today, here’s how it would go.



Recognizing the age of the video has somewhat eroded the audio quality (and our sound engineer is learning the ropes), here’s how our version of the dialogue from the Mr. McGuire and Benjamin scene plays out:

Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes I am.

Mr. McGuire: Content …

Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?

Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in content. Think about it. Will you think about it?

Dustin Hoffman: Yes I will.

Mr. McGuire: Shhhh. Enough said. That’s a deal.

Plastics indeed.


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