How Public Relations, Media Have Evolved in 15 Years

2003: The internet was emerging as a dynamic tool for communication and would forever change the way people received information. Myspace was introduced as a social networking site, Skype was launched as a new method of calling, and in print media, revenue from advertising fell and circulation declined, as more people relied on the internet for news.

The same year, Lynese Hoffman and Denise Bentele opened Common Ground Public Relations, an agency focused on helping businesses and organizations meet their communication goals and navigate what would be the ever-changing media landscape.

Trends Toward Thought Leadership and Innovation in Communication

Fifteen years after CGPR opened its doors, the world of public relations―and how it responds to both communication needs and consumer demands―looks a lot different. We have fewer news releases and press conferences, and instead have a 24-hour news cycle. The shelf life of a digital story is much longer, due to the ability to repost, link and share. And for better or for worse, the potential impact of a story is more powerful now than ever before.

Staying true to the principals of public relations and following best practices and ethical standards, CGPR has adapted to meet the current and future needs of our clients. We often work in tandem with marketing firms to deliver integrated branding strategies. Our realm of contacts has expanded from solely traditional media to now include bloggers and industry influencers. We talk more about innovative communication strategies and thought leadership than placements and outputs. We pay close attention to how our publics receive messages and the channels by which they are influenced. And we continue to complement our current service offerings in areas where we see both need and demand: presentation training and storytelling, media training and social media strategy.

As public relations professionals, it is our job to operate in this fluid environment, and as the world changes, it will be our responsibility to identify innovative and effective solutions to communication needs. We say, challenge accepted.

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