I’ve heard talk of the evolution of vocations and that our approach to professions and skills is rooted in an archaic past that we persist in practising due to habit and fear of change. I’ve had people preach to me the irrelevance of print media, the impending force of the digital world, and of the power of individual voices. But have things really changed or is it just the way we access our information?
You may no longer see soapbox preachers on street corners, but how different were they from current influencers? Both building reputations on charisma alone, both being relatively unchallenged by their audience as a result. Highlighting a modern curiosity, however, I would like to contrast two people for you: an unpleasant individual who speaks nothing but the preconceived truth, and an affable person who, unknowingly to their audience, lies through his teeth. Who will garner fame and listeners? Who will rally the crowds under their banner?
In effect, where knowledge was once king, it has now ceded to presentation and delivery. Where fact was once a common thread sought by any cogent discourse, pride and personal belief, sometimes against all evidence of contradiction, are the rule of the day. The sharing of information has become a very delicate matter that now demands more and more gatekeepers to maintain intellectual integrity, or whatever’s left of it, and the advent of digital communication has made the filtering of information even harder.
Caught in the crossfire are PR agencies who are tasked with the challenging objective to promote authentic businesses and individuals, and help them navigate through the nebulous digital realm. How can they speak truth to power? How can they present a clear case to the public and convince them of truth? The answer, dear reader, is easier than you think. Join me on part 2 and discover how one word can change the dynamic of all communication.
Spark Makki is Head of English Content at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me