Whether you are in the public relations/marketing/advertising industry or not, we’ve all witnessed the way we receive news has changed. What you may not have stopped to think about is that how we receive information has evolved most rapidly over the past five to 10 years. RSS Feeds? Facebook? Twitter? Nonexistent 10 years ago.

But this is a good thing. Not only do we receive news from nontraditional outlets, we receive it faster than ever. The first to report the famous “Miracle on the Hudson” US Airways plane crash in early 2009 was a user on Twitter who tweeted just minutes after witnessing the water landing. It’s a revolution they’re tagging as “citizen journalism.”

The rise of instant communication illustrates the importance of public relations. I recently read an article from The Vancouver Sun titled “PR more vital than ever for business” that talked about exactly this. In the wake of the BP oil spill disaster in the gulf and the scrutiny the company is facing, BP’s communications and PR team are the ones being blamed. Instead of immediately communicating a public apology and the ways which they were going to remedy the situation, BP told inaccurate information to downplay damages and kept its chief executive out of the media, making him seem insensitive and indifferent.

Unlike many believe, PR is not an alternative to advertising. Now more than ever, PR is needed to build a company’s credibility, tell its story and communicate its position in the community—especially if and when a crisis occurs. According to a survey by Penn Schoen Berland, Landor Associates, and Burson-Marsteller, “consumers are 55 percent  more likely to choose a product that supports a certain cause when choosing between otherwise similar products.” With that in mind, if a company opts silence over open communication, consumers assume the company is callous, thus choosing to spend their money elsewhere.

As the demand for information increases, so does the need for public relations professionals who establish two-way, transparent communication for a company. Dittoe PR, being the top PR firm in Indy, is experienced in all the mediums a company needs to communicate with its many publics. We reach the correct audiences via several different forms of media, both traditional and nontraditional, so that no consumer or stakeholder is left uninformed.