On Wednesday, October 25, in the season opener of CPRS Vancouver’s professional development series, Dan Tisch discussed the present state and future challenges facing the PR industry and those who work in it.
Addressing an audience of nearly 50 professionals at the SFU Harbour Centre, Tisch, who is the CEO of Canada's own Argyle Public Relationships, discussed mass media trends and analyzed recent organizational PR crises such as United Airlines’ early 2017 customer-dragging incident. He explained that when an organization experiences a behavioural crisis, it can have a massive negative impact as a result of poor communication, mismanagement, and backlash from the general public. Nowadays, the average person has the power to make or break the reputation of an organization (at least on a small scale), and it’s up to the organization as a whole to put a premium on effective communication in order to avoid these issues altogether.
In response to last year’s US presidential election and the past year’s ensuing political drama, Tisch also touched on the seemingly intense surge of ‘fake news’. This epidemic, he reasons, has always existed, but globalization and social media have elevated it to an almost impossible-to-ignore level. News is now less reliable, which results in a gap in trust between the public and the media, giving inaccurate facts and unfair bias a chance to seep in and corrupt truthful messages. And while there is no real cure for #fakenews, the most effective treatment for this ongoing plague is the practice of ethical and professional PR practices.
Finally, Tisch stressed the importance of always making a conscious and concerted effort to listen in order to help build and improve the relationships within our professional network. In business and financial terms, modern PR and communications strategies place an emphasis on producing the newest and most original content, and doing so constantly. The public is now experiencing a kind of “content shock” in which the high frequency and magnitude of content leads to an overall decrease in the value of its messages. Practicing organizational listening when it comes to clients, colleagues, and culture gives us the ability to provide quality over quantity when it comes to our messages and gives us the opportunity to flourish in the future and build strong relationships and trust with those we work with. As Tisch puts it, “content will always be king, but relationships are truly royalty.”
Building off of the success of the first professional development talk of the season, CPRS Vancouver is encouraging those who attended the lecture to share their thoughts on what they would like CPRS to focus on for upcoming talks. If you attended The Future of PR and would like to share your thoughts and ideas or are interested in joining for a casual meet-up to discuss this with others in the industry over the coming months, please contact [email protected].