public relationsI’m going to call us Public Relations folks Growth, Reputation & Change Activists.

Change is the new constant in public relations. Psychologist Kurt Lewin’s “unfreeze-change-freeze” change-model still guides how some leaders think about change, but generally that stop-start management style is out of date, with every employee used to constantly adjusting.

Public Relations, also out of date

PR was already expanding beyond the ‘public’, to accommodate a raft of specialties: Government Relations, Community Relations, Consumer Relations, Investor Relations, and more.

Then came social media. That really messed with  job boundaries, blurring the lines between marketers, advertisers and PR people, with everyone struggling to do a little bit of everything.

So Public Relations people, struggling to find a more accurate descriptor, began to rename their title marcomms or marketing or communication specialists.

Public Relations and Change

Public relations

Third Dimension

Public relations aims for a balance between growth and reputation. Now change adds the third dimension.

Change Management used to be for re-structure experts: management consultants, and CFO and HR folks. However, now the first people impacted are often the communication folks, with change managed and accelerated by social/digital media.

Change Activists?

I say ‘activists’ because we have to be proactive.

This need is often most easily seen in the constant cultural change within an organisation. Keeping on top of this cultural change takes strong, effective communication.

McKinsey & Co describes the job description of a change activist:public relations

  • encourage individuals to tackle significant organizational challenges
  • foster honest and forthright discussion
  • elicit dozens (if not hundreds) of potential solutions
  • focus on generating a portfolio of experiments that can be conducted locally, as opposed to developing a single grand design
  • encourage individuals to take personal responsibility for initiating the change

So, welcome to a new way of thinking.

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