The only constant is change

By: Angela Raleigh, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

Any person who has worked in the PR industry would agree that one of the only constants is change. Target markets are constantly subject to change; consumer tastes and preference can be unpredictable; and the platforms in which we receive information continue to change with new developments in technology. But most people dislike change for the fear of the unknown.

However, change is essential to your survival and the survival of your company. Every day we deal with change. The change that happens to us as individuals and the change that happens to the environment in which we work. Today we have competitor “x”, tomorrow it will be competitor “y”. Today we have a front page feature story and tomorrow we have a small mention on page 13.

For years print, radio and television were the main avenues for receiving information. Today we still have print, radio and television, but we’ve added the internet and hundreds of social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

How you handle change from a PR perspective should be determined on a case by case basis since most situations can vary. Be sure to consider the following:

  • Does the change benefit the business or client goals?
  • Will key messages change? If so, how will you communicate the changes to those involved?
  • What strategies need to be developed to implement the change?
  • Based on the strategies, are there new work practices and protocols that need to be implemented?
  • Will employee responsibilities change? If so, what training will be required?
  • Review the pros and cons of implementing vs. not implementing the change.

As PR professionals we must embrace change because it is a part of our daily working environment. One of the most important aspects of effectively implementing change is ensuring that everyone involved clearly understand the reasons for the change, the likely impacts, as well as the methods used to create the change and the expected benefits. How do you best address and manage change in your organization?