#FuturePRoof: crowdsourcing the future of public relations and what happened next

Sarah Hall, Editor, #FuturePRoof, and Managing Director, Sarah Hall Consulting, talks through how the #FuturePRoof project brought together thinkers and doers in an uplifting study of the future of public relations and how the initiative has developed since publication.

#FuturePRoof was launched in November 2015. Featuring 35 leading public relations professionals, the book’s aim was to remind public relations practitioners and the wider business community of the value of public relations and assert its role as a management discipline. 

The reception to the book has been extremely positive. More than 1,800 downloads and 100 hard copy sales later, practitioners are still sharing their favourite chapters and feeding through their own thoughts on where the public relations industry is headed.

A series of events has been organised across the UK looking in greater depth at the opportunities and challenges faced. 

From emerging areas of practice such as public relation’s shift towards paid, how to map workflow and freelance business models, to more traditional topics such as measurement and evaluation, ethics and stakeholder management, #FuturePRoof has generated much food for thought.

This practical guide aimed at driving up standards has instigated debate about how our profession can better professionalise and innovate. It has also provoked discussion about how we stay fit for the future and prevent other marketing disciplines from stealing our turf.


#FuturePRoof PRCA and ICCO policy unit

Work hasn’t stopped there. We’ve continued to build the community and challenged people to apply their expertise to the future of professional practice.

Francis Ingham invited Stephen Waddington and I to create a policy unit and work with the PRCA and ICCO to think through some of the issues raised by the #FuturePRoof project with PRCA and ICCO members. 

Just four months on we will shortly be publishing our first white paper on agency business models for the PRCA and ICCO, one of three we have committed to in 2016. 

In this whitepaper, due out on Tuesday 5th April, a progressive group of agencies is seeking to break with tradition. Each consultancy has carved its own niche and some are moving beyond people to charge not for time but for creative, insight, and results.

These are real pioneers and I’m grateful to everyone who contributed for their generosity in sharing their knowledge and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. 

Many of the discussions generated by the book and this first project have identified a number of topics and issues that we’ll develop in the second edition of #FuturePRoof which will be published later this year.

A call out for contributions will be made once the final book spec has been confirmed, so please do join the community if you’d like to be involved. 

To be part of the conversation, join the Facebook group and follow @weareproofed on Twitter.