Beyond PR

Nov 05, 2015

The Future of PR Is Now [Infographic]


The practice of public relations has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past five years, a result of digital media’s disruption of traditional communications channels.

And for those five years, we’ve chronicled and analyzed this evolution on Beyond PR. If you dig into our archives, you’ll find that our very first blog post, published on October 14, 2010, was a look at how to write press releases for Twitter.

Beyond witnessing PR’s growth, though, we’ve also walked this journey with you.

Along with the rest of the industry, we have adapted and expanded our own corporate communications and marketing programs – and continue to do so.

Tools and tactics have evolved and in some cases been replaced with others. Audiences have exploded as PR professionals now have the means to share their organization’s story not just with the media as intermediaries, but directly with customers, investors, industry advocates, and countless others.

Even the definition of “newsworthiness” – something long considered a core concept within public relations – has expanded. Thanks to the unique earned media opportunities afforded by today’s digital, social, and mobile environments, content that was once thought of as not newsworthy enough to pitch to media, can now play a role in connecting with influencers.

To keep up with all of this content, the PR industry has had to up its game. We’ve been called to create higher-quality and more visual content specifically tailored to our target audience’s needs in real-time.

And in a clear integration with marketing, today’s PR demands a much deeper understanding of analytics and attribution to help public relations professionals produce more measurable business results.

On the one hand, all of this change is energizing to experience. However, there are moments when it can be confusing and downright exhausting.


Fortunately, public relations is also about community, and the PR industry is a strong, supportive, and vocal one.

We recently took to all of our channels to gauge how you view the practice of public relations. In our article What Is PR? A Look Back, To Look Forward, we asked you to fill in the blank: “PR is now ____. ” and share how public relations has changed since we originally released our popular PR Is infographic in 2012.

We received close to 100 responses from around the world and across the industry — corporate communicators, agencies, newcomers, industry veterans, and everyone in between weighed in. We even received a video.

When our senior creative manager Jamie Heckler compared your replies to 2012’s infographic, we observed the following trends:

  • The idea of PR being “digital and socially driven” is more of a given today versus three years ago, when social was still a new shiny tool in the PR toolbox.
  • In 2012, there was a hint at PR moving into the marketing spectrum, and that future is now.
  • Being proactive and transparent is more important than ever. There were fewer responses defining PR as “problem solving for organizations” (aka crisis communications) and more about reaching and shaping how a customer sees an organization.
  • While relationships remain at the heart of how we define PR, there’s a new emphasis on the importance of interaction, conversation, and conversion.
  • PR pros have been kept on their toes. A response from 2012 defines PR as a “constantly evolving channel essential for business” and this still rings true. Our new batch of definitions strongly suggest that PR remains in a state of flux.

We also realized that with all of the responses – many of which we weren’t able to include here — an infographic isn’t enough.

We invite you to keep the responses coming with the hashtag #PRIsNow, as we’ll be taking a deeper dive into the results with an upcoming SlideShare presentation.

In the meantime, enjoy our new PR Is Now infographic and thank you to everyone who has joined in the conversation so far!


Amanda Hicken is PR Newswire’s senior manager of strategic content. Follow her on Twitter @ADHicken for tweets about the media, marketing, Cleveland, and comic books.

7 Comments on Blog Post Title

­ Elizabeth Dickey 17:40 EST on Nov 8, 2015

Love this infographic! We’re making them in my PR class and this is perfect. I love how you emphasize that PR is about building relationships. Great job 🙂

­ Brian 17:34 EST on Nov 9, 2015

That is not an infographic

­ Syed Waqas Ali Kazmi 17:27 EST on Nov 10, 2015

This is amazing. Loving these amazing definitions which contains old and new perspective of PR. Thanks

­ Kendrick 20:50 EST on Nov 11, 2015

Not very "graphic". Text in a JPEG isn’t an infographic, the visual presentation should support understanding of the information

­ Anna 17:49 EST on Nov 22, 2015

It’s no wonder we’re all having an identity crisis!

­ Reigan Massey 14:58 EST on Dec 7, 2015

Love it! Very informative. I agree that PR is evolving, and that social media is becoming more and more focused on the consumers rather than the actual product. It’s more of a content hub that seeks to identify with their followers rather than just share promotions.

­ Suzanne Fulton 09:23 EST on Dec 17, 2015

The grey images in this should be darker to show more prominently.

Fill in your details below: