It’s 1988: Margaret Thatcher is Prime Minister, Beetlejuice and Who Framed Roger Rabbit are box office hits and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking is a best seller. PR secretaries have daisy wheel typewriters, PR execs only have roll-o-decks, a telephone and piles of paper on their desks. Only the MD has a brick-sized mobile phone.

A PR exec in 1988 if told to tweet might leap up and do the Birdie Song dance. He/she would have been deeply shocked to be told that in 25 years’ time they’d be multi-media geeks able to alter photography, edit videos, edit live documents on the internet, hold and attend web-based conferences from their desks, tweet, link, post and generally work at 30 times the pace.

Flash forward to 2013: Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus have become supreme overlords of the world through a combination of twerking and fanatical fans, video games have overtaken films as the leading multimedia properties and Stephen King has written a sequel to The Shining. Modern day PRs are now spoilt for choice when it comes to laptops and mobile phones, we’re all social media gurus, Google runs our life with SEO and alerts and we’ve probably never written a cheque (well, I haven’t).

It all begs the question, where will the PR industry go from here? Will we be able to transmit press releases from our brain to a journalist’s brain? Will we teleport to meet our clients or to meet each other? Will our clients all be cyborgs serving a central artificial intelligence? OK, probably not. We’ve already had Twitter, grumpy cats, Vine and Gangnam Style. Perhaps One Direction will branch into perfume…what do you mean they already have?!?



As a part of our 25th anniversary celebrations, please enjoy Firefly’s infographic on the differences in the mind-set of a PR exec in 1988 and 25 years later in 2013, as seen on PR Moment.

Thanks to, Annabel Abbs, Rhiannon Jones and Melissa Geddes for the 1988 memories.

Thanks to Tom Reynolds, Charlotte Stoel and Austin Brailey for the 2013 inspiration.

Watch and follow our #firefly25 video interview series and watch out for the survey results and our own Firefly white paper on the Past, the Present and the Future of PR.

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