I am guest lecturing tomorrow at the CU School of Journalism for an Intro to PR class...What should I tell the students?
I am pretty sure I will start with my background and recount my days as a *very* junior person sending press releases via fax, hand clipping articles, and pleading with local media to attend a press conference at a local trash dump (Channel 7 in San Francisco did come, thank you very much.)
More importantly I will talk about the future of PR and how rapidly things have changed and are continuing to change. That as future journalists or PR people, 'user generated' content is altering the way our game is played. News content is no longer reliably filtered. What we have to offer is credibility and that is one thing that is not easily earned though it is easily destroyed, so protect it at all costs.
As PR people it is increasingly becoming our role to really relate to the public and manage relationships with the public, not just "the media." That as journalists or PR people a lot of what we do can increasingly be outsourced overseas and we have to find new ways of creating value.
I will of course tell them that they are looking at very exciting and sometimes very rewarding careers, provided they work hard, protect their credibility, and remain highly adaptable.
Any other thoughts?