By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
One of my favorite type of post for the PRDude blog is a Q&A with industry leaders and up-and-coming public relations professionals. Expect more in 2017, as it’s always pleasurable and insightful to tap in to the minds of PR practitioners.
As we approach the final hours of 2016, it dawned on me: I’ve not offered the Q&A opportunity to the one professional I know best: Myself, Edward M. Bury, APR. Featuring my thoughts in this format is somewhat self-serving, I suppose. But, hey, it’s my blog and frankly I wanted to file one more post before midnight.
So, with as much fanfare as I can muster before starting our decidedly quiet New Year’s Eve celebration, here are words and predictions.
1. Let’s start by keeping the focus on public relations. Where is the profession heading and what key developments will surface in 2017?
Without question, public relations counsel will remain very much needed and in demand by businesses, organizations and governments. The seemingly unending expansion of the digital arena and 24-hour news cycle requires constant monitoring of what’s being said, and having the resources in place to take advantage of opportunities or mitigate threats. Efforts need to be accentuated to promote the value of strategic communications practices and point out the difference between public relations, pure publicity and propaganda.
Regarding the second part of this question, I predict there will be continued integration between public relations, marketing and advertising. The PESO model of communications will only get more widely accepted and practiced. Given this, expect the public relations industry to push harder for measurement standards, and for clients to demand results.
2. That is a good transition into thoughts on the PRDude blog. What can fans, followers and fanatics expect next year?
More of the same: An “eclectic” (in light of a better word) blend of commentary on public relations practices and developments, balanced by observations and remarks on some topics close to home, including Chicago, the media, culture and politics.
I hope to offer more posts that address the value behind effective, strategic public relations and its vital role in modern society. And, I will continue to “defend” public relations as a strategic management communications practice and call out instances where instances of “public relations” or “PR” are mislabeled and misinterpreted.
3. The year 2016 was quite a memorable one in a lot of ways — the national elections perhaps being the most monumental and unexpected. What were memorable moments for you?
This is relatively easy to determine. In fact, I’ll share links for those who want to get more insight.
- The four days spent in Washington, D.C. this March, my only visit to the nation’s capital for pure pleasure.
- Our July visit to Green Lake, Wisconsin, where we relaxed, got away from the city and learned firsthand about the value of small town life and the people who live outside a place as big as Chicago.
- My thoughts on the passing in September of our mother, Sophie V. Bury, a truly remarkable woman and friend to many.
- The dream that came true for me and millions and millions of Chicago Cubs fans. The Cubs won the World Series in November.
- And, this just in: I completed my first required course for earning a graduate degree in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Proud to say I earned an A! Get educated yourself and read my final paper on affect criticism.
4. When you look out your window, what do you see? Metaphorically, of course.
Here in Chicago, I see continued heartbreak driven by the unceasing and uncontrolled violence plaguing many neighborhoods. I wonder why greater awareness of this violence and the general acceptance among many that it’s wrong and crippling to society has not led to more decisive action to stop the shootings.
From another perspective, here in our rapidly gentrifying Avondale/Logan Square neighborhood, I see dramatic changes to the community fabric driven by new (and increasingly expensive) housing, restaurants/bars and retail replacing long-standing businesses. I know this is “progress” and the result of market demands and economic and social developments, but I wonder if the community has lost its true character.
And, looking at the bigger picture, I see the potential for grave circumstances ahead unless we can effectively address the growth of “fake news” designed to disguise the truth.
5. So, some last words on 2016.
Besides, “Happy New Year 2017,” I hope there’s a renewed effort to return to civility in today’s society. Despite our advancements in science and technology, we are stepping backwards if we can’t treat each other with courtesy and respect.