This is the age of hyper-transparency. You are either on Internet or non-existent. I am not sure if there are libraries that still use the printed cards for indexing books? Even your garden does not exist unless it is in one of your FB or Flickr galleries. And then, there is the whole issue of privacy – or of the non-existence of privacy…
So, who are the good, old PR specialists now? Most of the companies, and I think all of the politicians, nowadays increasingly also the non-government and non-profit organizations, are questioning communications as a function – as they are misusing it in all ways possible. They have changed its function, from a critical interface between the audience and the organization/group or so – to a hyper transparency. A meaningful, content rich communication is disappearing. From a brochure to booklet to letter to E-mail to shorter E-mail to tweet/short message. More is less.
Reason, partly, is also because of the PR nature of work. When the media, and the politics, and others, started to misuse communication, becoming spin-doctors and propaganda advisors, driving more and more influence and subsequently revenue, the days for a classical PR were numbered, weighted and scaled.
It is the end of Public relations. There is no more top-to-down communication, it is going to p2p (peer-to-peer) model every single day. PR is now in social media, PR magi are kids with good ideas how to stand out from the crowd. Less is more.
Just face it: internet – social media – mobile as a channel, nothing of that existed when the best PR books were written. No one needs PR now.