Is the Past a Predictor of the Future?

Just wondering? Have PR lost the plot?

I was looking for something in my files when the following quote in a document caught my attention. This is what the Task Force on the stature and role of Public Relations formed by PRSA in 1980, pointed out.

"The greatest value of the public relations professional is in anticipating and shaping what is happening, not in reporting or coping with what has already been determined. By the time an organisation is confronted with attitudes of its publics (like negativity of the staff) it is usually too late for public relations thinking to have an effect on them".

Ouch! I read about PR & Publicity all the time. I read about Reactive thinking all the time. I read about publicity campaigns all the time. Seldom do I read about training staff in PR and related issues.

Our work lies in shaping the future. This got me thinking. These days PR knowledge is no longer enough.

You need to know what’s happening in the environment as well as knowledge management. Not only do you need to know how to do research, you need skills in futuristic thinking and the new discipline – knowledge management i.e not only is the PR person required to be a doer but also a shaper and an influencer.

I guess the ante has been raised.