Welcoming in 2024; Remembering a Longtime Friend

January 2024
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First, a Happy New Year to you!

We are focusing on 2024 (and beyond) in this issue, starting with futurist Stephen DuPont, APR, Fellow PRSA, who shares his thoughts on trends and events for PR pros to monitor in the months ahead. Elsewhere, Shalon Kerr looks at some tech tools and platforms that will continue to inform our work this year. To no surprise, there’s a heavy dose of AI throughout this preview, a subject that will certainly dominate headlines as the year continues.

“We have to be careful that we’re not chasing the marvel of the day, which leads to being overwhelmed,” said Chris Perry, chair of Weber Shandwick Futures. “All of us need to create space to investigate the new tools, not through hype cycles but through practical use.”

Chris was my guest for the December episode of Strategies & Tactics Live on LinkedIn that focused on generative AI, arguably the most disruptive technology to impact the communications profession in decades, even more industry-altering than the effects of social media and the internet.

The transformative nature of this new tech requires communicators to undergo a radical shift from talking about AI to actively using and understanding it. And there are plenty of AI tools to investigate.

For instance, Google has been experimenting with an AI search tool, which could mean that when people search for information, they’ll receive an AI-generated summary answer scraped from internet sources without ever visiting the websites of news organizations or other publishers that provided the underlying reporting.

“AI is going to force us to rethink search, websites and distributed communication,” Perry said. “But in this new era, I think there’s enormous potential for comms professionals.”

This and all episodes of S&T Live are available for playback on PRSA’s LinkedIn page in the archived Events section.

Adding more insights from contributors

Starting this month, the web edition of my editor's note will include a short video interview with one of our contributors. We started with “Workplace Wellness” columnist Mark Mohammadpour, APR, Fellow PRSA, who talks about the pressures of New Year’s resolutions and the importance of honest and transparent communications.

We hope that you enjoy this new video feature.

Remembering Mark Weiner

I was saddened to learn about the passing of longtime PRSA member Mark Weiner on Dec. 10. He was 68.

Mark, a comms executive for several companies, was one of my oldest and dearest friends in my 30-year PRSA career, an always-welcomed kind presence. He was a frequent contributor to the publications and a go-to source for wise counsel on communications and life.

When it came time to introduce our Strategies & Tactics Live series on LinkedIn in February 2022, I asked Mark to be my first guest to discuss his specialty — measurement and research. We always enjoyed a jocular relationship, and staying on topic was always challenging. When we did our rehearsal for the session, we ended up discussing the genius of Brian Wilson, a founder of the Beach Boys, for 30 minutes. (Music was another one of Mark’s passions.) Mark later asked me to lead a workshop with him at ICON 2022 in Grapevine, Texas.

Mark’s laughter, kindness and wisdom will be missed. As we embark on this new year, let us honor his memory by embracing change, fostering open dialogue and continuing to learn from each other.

Wishing you a fulfilling and successful 2024. 

Return to Current Issue Preview 2024 | January 2024
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