The Beginning of the End for Many Senior Execs in PR

[DH note: Here’s something that probably won’t surprise you: according to public relations expert David Bray, a lot of people over age 50 in the PR industry are being left behind by technology. His advice? Learn what you have to learn because if you don’t, it’s the beginning of the end.

I certainly see the fast-moving tidal wave as few senior PR agency executives have digital communications skills, and fewer still have any hands-on expertise in the digital revolution. Many, including leaders of major agencies, remain stuck using methods of a bygone era.]

Baby boomers and people over age 50 represent the largest percentage of business owners in the United States. Thus, it’s safe to say that a majority of the top leaders in the PR business are baby boomers — in their late 40s to mid 60s. This is all about to change.

Marx BrothersThe first group of baby boomers turned 65 last year, and a new poll by the Associated Press and reveals that nearly half of all baby boomers now work for a younger boss. If 2012 was the year of the social media surge, 2013 will be the beginning of the end for our baby boomer PR compadres.

The media landscape is evolving rapidly, and baby boomers are about to be left behind because of their inability to keep up with technology and the changing times. The days of the self-proclaimed experts (those who profess to be “thought leaders” as a result of reading and hearing about new advancements that clients can take advantage of) are long gone.

Media today is all about authenticity — and largely dominated by participatory media and consumers, who see right through advertising and marketing hyperbole and shut it out. Participating in these media is the only way to gain a “true” understanding of how and which work, and which don’t. Clients are demanding that their PR counsel and support teams are in the conversation, and that they themselves use the media where their content is being created and distributed.

Baby boomers’ misgivings about modern technology are countered in the workplace by their younger-generation counterparts who grew up with technology and are eager and quick to adapt to innovations. While many baby boomers have begun using social media and other new technologies at home, few have transferred this use to the work­place.

Read more from Bray’s column in Marketing Daily … click here.