You better work

Published on November 27, 2016
By Maria Constantinescu

Originally, our November newsletter was supposed to focus on the role of communication in preventing ethical lapses in organizations.

The new reality we woke up to on November 9th called for a change of topic, as we ponder on the communication lessons from the most recent U.S. elections, an electoral campaign of many firsts.

Personally, these past couple of months have left me with two main questions:

  1. Has the PR industry blindly embraced technology without adapting it to the particulars of our discipline? We’re not the only industry especially deficient at nailing analytics but, over the past couple of years, we did bet on our capacity to correctly collect and interpret data in order to demonstrate the added value and relevance of PR. In a world where employers and clients are expecting top prediction and analytical skills from PR practitioners, we have to stop looking at data in a vacuum and start attaching it to wider patterns and trends. The 2016 U.S. elections proved our industry needs a hybrid approach and we need to get there fast in order to keep our seats at the strategy table.
  2. In the quest for tangible results and ‘tested-and-true’ strategies, has our industry distanced itself from the insights provided by social sciences? Disciplines such as anthropology, history, psychology, political and social science, fine arts or cultural studies cannot be footnotes to our strategies. As Brexit and the recent U.S. elections show, we ignore social science at our peril.

This special edition of IABC/Montréal and You curated top subject-matter commentary to highlight some of the areas where PR practitioners have some serious catching up to do. We hope they will make you think long and hard before you approach your next big projects. Let us know what you’d add to the list.

November is almost over. And it was epic.