Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Some Observations On Trends In Media And PR . . .

Posted by Tom Foremski - September 16, 2009

Tuesday was a very good day. I got to spend time with Sabrina Horn, head of the Horn Group, and Todd Defren, head of Shift Communications.

These are two people that I have a lot of respect for because they've been around the block a few times and they are in the midst of some big changes.

They spend a lot of time in Silicon Valley but they are based out on the East coast, which gives them a broader perspective about many of the things that are happening here.

Also, what is interesting is that we are both on different sides of the same coin. The changes that are disrupting the media industry are similar to the changes disrupting the PR industry.

And these are not pleasant times. It's especially tough when you are responsible for large numbers of staff (which I'm not). These are scary times.

But these are also fascinating times.

While many bemoan the dying of traditional media, we forget to notice that we have more media now, in more formats, than ever before in the short history of our species. What will this lead to?

This is an incredible time to be a witness to what is going on, and even better, to be involved in the dramatic changes in media and PR communications.

The way I see things developing is that our future destinies are converging. Whether we are in journalism or PR, our mission is to help our communities, companies, non-profit organizations, governments, individuals, etc, to help them tell their stories in real and authentic ways. So that the more we know about each other the less strange we will seem to each other.

Why is this important? Because in an increasingly media fragmented world it is easier than ever for people to spend time with others that look and think the same. It is easier than ever to become more segregated and distant from each other.

And the less we know about each other the more opportunities there are for xenophobia and conflict.

As journalists and PR communicators we have a unique opportunity to work to bridge these divides and that means we all benefit.

How we do it I'm not sure but that's the best part -- we all get a chance to figure these things out.

This might seem a bit of a stretch, a post about journalism and PR trends turning into a post about peace and understanding. But what can I say? That's where I see things heading. And that's what gets me out of bed each day.


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