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Students: The Council of PR Firms asks, "What is the most dangerous idea in PR today?"

Cross-posted from PROpenMic.

Reformed PR practitioner B. L. Ochman writes a review of the recent Council of PR firms (CPR) critical issues forum in her blog, What’s Next.

Read the Council’s take on the event in Dangers Equal Opportunity for Smart Marketers, PR Firms, Lively Annual Public Relations Council Critical Issues Forum Addresses “Most Dangerous Ideas” for Future of PR.

The conversation has actually already become an old one. The paradigm shift caused by the advent of social media software (both free open source and paid platforms) has given voice to the masses in a way never seen before. Word of mouth (WOM) is now digital and spreads like wildfire, or creeps along where no one can see it – then achieves a Groundswell of reach people in PR only dreamed of just 10 years ago. 

Look at PROpenMic, for example. In less than 7 months, we’ve brought together almost 2,700 students, faculty and practitioners from around the world. The site actually achieves greater traffic and participant involvement than sites funded by multi-million dollar corporations. Some call this smart mobs or the power of mass loyalty (by individuals) to an issue and they become loosely joined together in one Web site. Whatever it is called (buzzwords fly faster than sound these days) the reality is that Web sites can now challenge what some call traditional media: newspapers, TV stations & radio.

I look at most of these discussions from the standpoint of an educator. I’m curious what the students think about all these discussions. Education was briefly addressed in the video below. I don’t know if it came up much in the overall discussion described in the Council’s article above.

I’ve seen students leave school and become the teachers – quickly. I’ve seen students leave school and begin to challenge the old school thinking of their PR managers by standing up against blast email pitches, randomly choosing media entities in markets (rather than a targeted approach to individual journalists & bloggers) and the other old school practices so dominant just one or two decades ago.

Change truly can began at the bottom and lead to even more radical shifts in practice. We’re seeing that today with the influx of savvy students essentially having a better take on the consumer’s WOM landscape than their bosses.

Read the two posts above and watch this video. Students, this could make for an interesting blog part on your part. Tell us what you think about the changes being presented to you today. Do you feel you’re going to be ready for this new landscape? Is your ’emerging digital experiential education’ giving you some level of confidence, or is it still too early to tell?

We don’t get enough of this feedback from students. Oh, we might not want to hear some of the things you have to say … but, I do know that we need to hear them. Tell us what you think. We’re trying to help you. I’d love to see more students posting to their blogs here in PROpenMic and/or elsewhere online.

Do you have a “dangerous idea” just waiting to be expressed? We can learn from you, too.