A recent Pew Research Center Study generated some attention with its announcement that news media credibility in the U.S. had effectively hit a two-decade low point. 

 

The study found that the American public has serious questions about news media accuracy, bias and independence – identifying such variables as budget cuts and increasingly fragmented news outlets as key contributors to this “climate of distrust.”

 

In my opinion, the results of this study shouldn’t really be news to any of us.

 

But rather than bemoan the fact that the communications channels we’ve come to know and love have lost some of their influence … we, as PR professionals, must adapt.  

 

The good news is PR remains a story-telling business, so it’s not like we have to reinvent the wheel to successfully reach today’s ultra-wired, highly skeptical audiences.

 

However, one change facing us is a shift out of our traditional “news media-first” mentality to one where we become the proliferators of conversations … wherever and whenever they take place.

 

In some cases, this will happen through the media tactics that have defined our business for years.

 

In many other cases, brands will use integrated marketing and communications to facilitate these conversations in whatever channel is most relevant to the audience (e.g., social media sites, bloggers, community, etc.).

And just as “Web 2.0” reinvented how we use the Internet, you can imagine all the exciting opportunities that lie ahead in this new environment. Bring on 2010!

  

— Janet Tyler