Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Svetlana Stavreva is the President of IPRA (International Public relations association) and certainly the right person to talk about how, and to what extent the COVID-19 pandemic has affected PR industry. Svetlana talks about the connection of the world we have been dreaming about for years, and the impact that pandemic had on spreading those connections. What will be characteristic in the years to come is the fact that we won’t be returning to normal that we have had. The normal, that we know from our recent past is gone forever, claims the President of IPRA.
1. How has the pandemic changed the global public relations industry?
Answer: 2020 has been a year like no other. It proved us all wrong in the last few years when we were trying to answer the popular career question: “Where do you see yourself in 1-2-3 years from now?”. This is true for everyone and for the PR industry.
Imagine, just a few years ago the PR practitioners were dreaming about a connected world where it would be easier to digitally connect with millions of people at once. Today, this dream has become a reality: the number of all connected devices worldwide – that interact, communicate and generate data is expected to reach more than 10 times world’s population or 75 billion by 2025. This “info-demic” has been strongly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. And one of the key learnings from the “combined” experience will not be the reflex of keeping distance, wearing face masks, or meeting online, but the fact that there will be no going “back to normal”. In fact, the “normal” we know from our recent past has gone forever.
2. What transformations are expected in the field of public relations and why?
Answer:In pandemic and “infodemic” timesour role – the role of the PR practitioner – is quickly evolving.
Just recently the PR excellence has often been defined by top-down communication approaches aiming at general awareness and connection. Today, in the globally connected world, where everyone with a smart device and social media account can potentially reach millions of people at once, this is no longer sufficient.
Today people expect personalized approach, demand purpose at work that goes beyond commercial results. Today people care about the way organizations are behaving and require that they “walk the talk” (i.e. do what they say they will do). Or, in other words, they demand a strong connection between organization’s doing and the telling. Luckily, we as a profession “live” at the intersection between “doing” and “telling”. Hence, we can directly influence and reinforce the connection between organizations’ “doing” and the “telling”.
3. We are all part of the transformation, but what values should we think about in our communication as PR experts, as PR agencies and as people working in functions within different PR departments, companies, and institutions?
Answer: As discussed, while the world is globally connected this does not necessarily mean that the world is ready, or willing to collaborate – locally or globally for a better future. This need is a chance for us in the PR industry.
PR practitioners are those that are best equipped with the right mindset, skills, and experiencethat can turn any connection – physical or digital – into a real collaboration, reinforcing the connection between organizations’ “doing” and “telling” with communications based on purpose, trust, and ethics.
For the better future that we all need.