Changes are brewing at Wichita Professional Communicators. And that’s a good thing.
This past year, we’ve challenged the status quo with monthly programs that made us think differently about what the communication sector looks like today. Gone are the days of the standard newsroom, the traditional inverted pyramid story template and ad campaigns using the same exhausted platforms of raising a message. People consume information and content in different formats. Let’s celebrate that!
We’ve brought to the forefront mavericks in the blog and niche marketing worlds. We’ve learned that some people volunteer their writing skills to publications they believe in. We live in a world where a side hobby can turn into a movement in a community. And we’re about to hear from someone whose anonymity makes them that much more popular and intriguing in the food community.
I’ve been shown messages from some members of WPC who aren’t thrilled with the programming we’re offering. And that’s all right. We are all entitled to our opinions. But here’s what I have to say about that — change is good. In years past, we’ve heard from countless communications professionals reiterating the same message about journalism and advertising and public relations. Yes, those voices are important. But we can’t discount the other voices who are using truly unique platforms to provide community news and information, and are shaking the way we learn about and interact with our community.
We live in this weird world where journalism is challenged, marketing lives in our hands all the time, and public relations goes beyond press releases and media briefings. I’ve always hated the concept of an “influencer,” but there is some clout to it. People trust people who are like them. People listen more to people with common interests. People want to know how best to live their lives and make decisions from the people who have already done these things. As uncomfortable as it might be to accept this new style of communication, it’s important not to discredit it. Just because something is different and not the old way of doing it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Don’t bash how things are being done now. The future is here, and we need to buckle up.
Our field is constantly changing. Each day it seems like there are new ways to communicate. I think another thing that is changing now is recognition. We all want to be recognized for our efforts in this industry. Some may not need the financial rewards. Some people want to remain anonymous with their work. And that’s all right. Respect how the field is changing, and let us lift each other up and celebrate what’s working in this new age of communication.
– Sean Jones, WPC president