Just as traditional business and socio-political constructs have been challenged by the three seismic shifts that have shaken our world, so the nature of Communications as a discipline – and therefore Communications as a profession – is in a period of radical and rapid transition. Traditional models – geared towards consumption and a comfortable acceptance of the rules of mass marketing – are fractured, if not broken forever. A resurgent Citizenship is killing off the advertising-led, monologue marketing economy that has dominated the last half-century. A new dialogue – powered by Digital democracy – has emerged between Citizens and Brands, Governments and Business, the Media and NGOs. New rules of accountability, transparency and authenticity apply here. We are calling the space in which this happens Public Engagement.
It is our contention that, in time, some of what are currently known as PR agencies can and should evolve into the Public Engagement space – to take a place of legitimate primacy among all the marketing disciplines. Within the Citizen Renaissance, dialogue-led, Communications companies of the future will have an incumbent responsibility to offer a significantly different and more responsible level of advice to clients, based on the imperatives of “Needs”, not “Wants”, and the likely truth of a lower consumption global economy.
- The Collapsing Pyramid of Authority and the Sphere of Public Engagement
- Trust and the Sphere of Public Engagement
- Public Engagement, the Decline of Advertising, and Communications Companies of the Future
- Why Now?