Week 9 Blog Reflection: The Current and Future State of Advertising and Public Relations

In Week 9, we discussed how advertising and public relations have changed in the digital age. As I have spent almost three years at a digital marketing agency, this was right up my alley. Among the changes for advertising discussed were more targeted advertising as you can select your audience pretty specifically, better available analytics, more channels to share the content, and interactive ads. We looked at specific ads that have stood out over the years, and discussed their positive qualities that made them garner the attention of the greater public.

One addition I brought up, is the rise of product placement. It’s been used here and there since the 19th century. In today’s movies you can see product placement upwards of 200 times. As the prevalence has increased, so has the absurdity, and humor. Check out this famous scene from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Changes in public relations include increased transparency for companies with the rise of social media, a decrease in the need for outside agencies or news publications, and a much shorter response time required. Touching on the last point, think about the rise of crisis communications. With consumers getting information so quickly from so many different angles and people, they expect fast correspondence from companies as well. If a company, celebrity, or politician has a negative story trending, every second it takes the PR firm or publicist to respond is a notch against them. Meanwhile, companies must take their time to formulate a statement. A poorly worded response can do more damage than the original situation.

The rise of digital media has certainly had more positive effects than negative, and as with all industries, it means we must change how we interact with consumers on an ongoing basis. With the added benefits, I think it’s safe to say executives don’t mind those changes. I know I don’t.

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