New visual framework: Creating the Future of PR in a rapidly changing world


In 2006 I wrote a popular article Six Facets of the Future of PR, which concluded:

We are entering a world in which the flow of information and perceptions will drive much of the value creation in a highly networked global economy. The PR industry should be looking forward to a time of massive prosperity, in which it extends itself to play in entirely new fields of media and communication. Yet many of the existing participants will need to adopt a new stance and actively develop new skills to do this effectively. Those that re-conceive their role and potential impact, could well be masters of the universe.

As I anticipated, as the marketing and PR landscape has evolved over the last dozen years, some firms that were traditionally in the PR space have been very successful in transitioning to a new positioning, while others have been left far behind in a rapidly changing world.

During that period I have worked extensively with major PR firms in a variety of guises, including helping frame strategies for the future of the industry, providing advice on the shifting global media landscape, and participating in a wide range of future-focused client campaigns.

Some years ago I started developing a Future of PR landscape to examine the evolution of the industry, in my long-standing series of visual strategy frameworks. I recently returned to my earlier work and finalized a Creating the Future of PR Framework, shown below.

Click on the image to see full-size pdf

The framework begins by examining the fundamental Shifts across the underlying Structure of society, Media, social Expectations, and Clients.

It goes on to look at some of the many Opportunities for PR firms and professionals, and the Capabilities required to seize these.

It finally looks at the Transformation required across firm Structure, tapping Talent, and Positioning.

Click here to see a full transcript of the framework content

As all my frameworks at launch, this is a Beta version, intended to stimulate conversation, feedback, and input in order to evolve a continually better framework over time. The original frame for this landscape was developed some years ago, and while it is still highly relevant, it could certainly be refined and improved.

Of course it is now arguable whether ‘PR’ is the right frame for many marketers and agencies, since many have progressed beyond the traditional PR role while boundaries have blurred between marketing disciplines.

This is part of the point of my original quotation, in that long-established PR practitioners often have abilities that are exceptionally relevant in today’s evolving marketing landscape. The key issue now is complementing those established skills with new capabilities to create superior value in a networked world.

I’d love to get your thoughts on the framework and any input you have, either in comments below or on my Twitter or Facebook pages.