It was great to spend time with the South Sound PRSA Group today. Fellow panelists included:
- Hunter George from Pierce County
- John Henrikson from The News Tribune
- Rob McNair-Huff from the City of Tacoma
As a journalism major, I remember hearing the doom and gloom nearly 20 years ago about the decline of journalism as we knew it. Today took me back to those days as we all discussed the changing communication landscape.
John reminded us all of the important role the traditional, mainstream media still play in news gathering, but the prevalence of user-generated content and the desire people now have to obtain information directly from the source requires all communicators to change up our game. Information junkies have more sources than ever. Some people read the news, others personalize to their own interests, others watch TV, still others get their news from friends on Facebook. Who do you trust?
There’s a balance.
We need the independent, third-party professional news gatherers to hold everyone accountable while adhering to a common code of ethics. At the same time, government public affairs people recognize the trust we must build with our publics via any means possible as well as with the news organizations. In government public relations, transparency is vital and everything we do is subject to public scrutiny.
It’s an interesting time to be in the communications business. Spin at your own risk.