Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of 12 guest posts from industry executives predicting key trends that will impact the public relations industry in 2012. Hosted under the hashtag #PRin2012, the series began Dec. 19, 2011, with a compilation post previewing all 12 predictions.
The PR industry needs to grow up. It needs leadership.
That was Dr. Jon White’s brutal message speaking about the future of the PR industry on the publication of PR 2020, a research report produced for the U.K.’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).
“There is a concern that the PR industry could lose its position and become irrelevant by 2020,” said Dr. White, head of the CIPR’s R&D unit. “Equally, with the right leadership, it could become much larger, better understood, more respected and established as a management discipline.”
The issues currently being debated by the profession are almost exactly the same as those that occupied the industry a decade ago. The topics are familiar to both student and veteran: ethics, formal definitions, diversity, measurement and skills.
The PR industry may be adolescent in comparison to other professions but it is utterly depressing that it hasn’t resolved some of these big issues.