What’s Next for Next-Gen PR Pros? Hashing It Out in a Twitter Chat

Think about how the business world functioned 40 years ago. Executives and their assistants (OK, secretaries) used IBM Selectric typewriters, while-you-were-out memo pads, file folders, in-person meetings and the telephone to communicate and get things done. When they clocked out at 5 p.m., the only way to reconnect with colleagues in the evening was to call someone at home on the family line, and ask one of the kids to put mom or dad on the phone.

The Internet has, of course, revolutionized the way we communicate. And since public relations is at its core communication itself, PR professionals have had to make great, Darwinian leaps from 1976 to 2016.

In her recent article for PR News, Marian Salzman, chairman, global collective, Havas PR, and CEO of Havas PR U.S., mused on these changes and looked ahead to PR's future. She has reason to be reflective: Havas PR North America just celebrated its 40th anniversary.

“Think about what connection meant 40 years ago," she writes. "If you weren’t connected via membership in a school club, a religious or professional organization, or at the very least to the households who shared your party phone line, then the extent of your connections would likely have been limited to family members, schoolmates and work colleagues...Our world has been rocked by digital creativity and connectivity, and nowhere is this more evident than in the PR space, where innovations have become a genuine component of life.”

Last week PR News and Havas PR teamed up for a Twitter chat to look at PR's next phase and the trends that will push PR pros further on the evolutionary scale. We list here some of the questions and answers PR News and Havas PR lobbed back and forth during the Twitter chat. (Check out the complete Twitter chat: #HavasPR40)

We wrapped up the Twitter chat with this final question: What should PR pros be thinking about as they look to the future? The responses: Next-gen PR pros must be generalists—content provider, media relations guru, transparency expert, CSR preacher, photographer, videographer and, as they were 40 years ago, ace writers.

Is that all?