25 Sep The future of the PR industry through the eyes of a Herd MSL graduate
Camille is at the start of her career at Herd MSL as one of our talented graduates. We asked her for her thoughts on the PR industry as a relative newcomer.
How is the Australian media industry changing?
I think we’re entering a media industry that is changing at an incredible pace. I’d go as far as saying there has never been a more fast-changing media environment as there is now.
Just last week, the government’s media reform bill passed the Senate, following months of negotiations. The reforms will, amongst other things, scrap the “two out of three” rule, which stops companies owning newspaper, radio and television stations in the same city. The changes will also abolish the “reach rule”, which prevents a single TV broadcaster from reaching more than 75 per cent of the population. Adding to this, a parliamentary inquiry into the future of public interest journalism took place last month.
These two events reflect the ongoing global conversation on the future of newsrooms.
What’s driving all of this? Technology. I think about the way I consume news now and it’s completely different to the way I would have just five years ago – I use the News app on my phone to read up on the news of the day, listen to Triple J Hack’s program via podcast, and catch up on The Bachelor on my laptop (guilty!). Having said that, I also love reading the paper with my coffee in the morning and flicking through Womankind magazine on the weekend. Evidently, technology has impacted the way newsrooms run with, sadly, numerous redundancies occurring across the board.
But with changes come great opportunity. Yes, “traditional” mediums of communication are changing but many doors are also opening. The challenge is to keep up and be adaptable.
What about the Australian PR industry, how do you believe it’s changing?
It’s no secret that technology is transforming our industry. With newsrooms changing and the evolution of an ‘always on’ media cycle, we have to think of smarter ways to connect with journalists that are under huge pressure to deliver quality and quantity.
Silos are also dead. Brands are calling for integrated campaigns that connect marketing, PR and social together. I’m definitely proud of being part of an agency that is responsive to this change, made evident by the merge of N2N, Fuel and Touch, which brought together the collective experience of our brands under the one group.
There are also such great opportunities to take PR to the next level and be very creative, for example by using virtual reality.
Our head of digital strategy, Lewis Shields, introduced me to the work of an American anthropologist and digital analyst at the Altimeter Group called Brian Solis. After reading some of Brian’s books such as X: The Experience When Business Meets Design and scanning through his blog, I soon realised people like him represent the brain of future-orientated communications strategists. Brian never ceases to ask questions and is always on top of the newest digital trends and tools. I’ve started following his blog and am always inspired by how he speaks about connecting brands with consumers in a meaningful way.
What excites me about it?
I’m so thrilled about working in a creative industry and one that is evolving. I like to be stimulated and challenged and I think the PR industry will give me just that. We are constantly pushed to think outside the box.
There’s also room for innovation and creation. I want to be part of this. As a grad, I need to get my head around technological innovations. Things like artificial intelligence seem far-fetched from my day-to-day activities, but it’s important for me to learn about this concept.
I like that there is an element of mysteriousness to it all. At the end of the day, I’d argue creativity is the golden tool to harness the key challenges and opportunities coming our way.