Hofstra’s “Week Without the Web” is over. It’s safe to say that despite the recognition that we probably spend far too much time on the Internet, the experience has shown that we are highly dependent upon–and don’t wish to give up–a lifestyle that has become so attached to all this technology.
As an exercise, my students tried to imagine what a public relations campaign was like 30 years ago without the Internet, reliable fax machines and desktop computers. I’ve been fortunate to experience the intense changes we’ve seen since 1981 and I’ve worked hard to keep up.
Think about the challenges PR professionals face over the next 30 years. Advancements in our Age of Information are sure to quicken exponentially. The 23-year old practitioner will have to keep pace just as I do, staying closely in tune with services and programs developing at ever-increasing speed. They, nor I, have any idea what working in PR will be like in 2041. I predict it’ll become more and more challenging to keep our PR skills honed and stay relevant in a hyper-active world of integrated communication. And as my age advances I may struggle with some of what’s coming, but I intend to keep ridin’ the wave. I am confident that my students–the Class of ’11 and beyond–will handle it all quite well. But I’m pretty sure they’ll be telling their younger colleagues what a PR campaign was like 30 years back, when they were forced to work with 4G phone networks, Excel spread sheets, email, and early versions of something called “social media.” The Class of ’41 will shake their heads and click their tongues and wonder how we did PR with such primitive tools 30 years ago. Your thoughts?