“Post-modernism is modernism after the blow stopped hurting” (Once overheard in a chatroom)
The oracle of post-modernism Friedrich Nietzsche at the turn of the previous century, around 1880, philosophised that an emerging nihilism is creeping into culture and in specific into western society. This in turn gave rise to hard-core perspectivism for over the last 100 years – inevitably partial to interpretation in the very same way content is effectively judged and analysed with an air of scepticism across all media platforms. Where does this information come from? Is this information credible? Those are questions, with absolute validity, that comes off post-modernism.
So if PR, as we know it today, is the professional maintenance of image then post-modern PR is finally a departure from behaving, or as the industry likes to call it “strategising”, in a specific and expected way. But of course with an essential tone of critique or let’s call it dubiety. Post-modern PR will then deliberately mix styles, the media and certainly ideas, whilst evaluating and appraising them. And bang-up ideas at that. A bottle of the finest wine is assessed and blended right? So with that in hand…could there be a better way to build your brand or maintain its image?
The essence of brand building according to Al & Laura Ries (The fall of advertising & the rise of PR, 2002), 10 years ago, was to provide content for the media to build the brand. So based on what we know from Nietzsche and Ries we can infer that now more than ever in a sense of evolution reasonable and feasible content amplified in fusion is where the value lies. This value we speak of relate to the client’s needs, the brand’s desires and the compatibility of the two.
The post-modern situation is for the human mind, by its very nature, complex and ambiguous and stands fierce in its essence that subjectivity is determined by a profusion of considerations. In this argument therefore the quest for knowledge is self-revising – one simply has no other option but to try out and try out again to learn from mistakes. And so with an uncomfortable strain a post-modern absolute of critical consciousness surfaces whereby the gun is bent back onto post-modernism. Visionary speculation is under attack.
Post-modernism suggests that impressive theories are not to hold credence but that trial and more trial and a return to multifarious elements are more likely to be honest and eventually, successful; however in the obsession with credibility within PR strategy in 2012 this could seem daunting if not vacillating.
But that’s exactly where post-modern PR as a concoction of strategy, creativity and common sense (in the past these were often lightly smeared) and as the torchbearer presents itself with credibility. Credibility is a standard of carrying trust so how better to build trust than to cover all the bases with enormous consideration. Suggesting that post-modern PR integrates value-adding elements but does not take itself too seriously. Thus giving way for more authentic work and content that is less artificial, inherently uncontrived, truly wholesome and promotes ingenuity in making space for public relations, or communication, as it should be. The pitfalls of wasting campaign budgets, in-house energy and the media’s time can be avoided by simply allowing communication (and related content) to spontaneously emerge, flow from a place of creativity and then be evaluated thoroughly by an intended objective communication professional.
In the 21st century this translates into integrity, trustworthiness and dependability. A far more plausible orbit for PR, than perhaps some of the forced strategy and content of the past that communication professionals so easily let slip into the ether.