SOUTHEAST ASIA PR INDUSTRY FACES DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSFORMATION
Where Fleet Street, London, was once the preserve of journalism and its associated industry, national and international-scale shifts have occurred. Around 7000 miles away, in the southeast Asia region, a media industry comprised of public relations and journalism professionals flourishes – and it is a trend set only to increase. Yet, with the influx of the ‘Millennial generation,’ new issues arise.
Communications habits are changing; so too are the expectations of younger media professionals, whose increasing reliance on digital tools need addressing so that they might conduct their work efficiently.
A report recently released by international consulting firm Burton-Taylor highlights the demographic shift taking place over the decade. It also suggests how media service providers can update their services to fit the needs of the younger and digitally-savvy generation of PR professionals and journalists. Public Relations Needs and Media Intelligence Solutions: South-East Asia Market Study 2017 suggests too that the way in which relationships are formed is being impacted by a reliance on digital.
“Journalists and PR professionals in the region are getting younger,” says Chris Pash, author of the report and director at Relate Media Asia Pacific, and associate at Burton-Taylor. “Younger PR players are less likely to put time into building relationships via face-to-face meetings. Also, younger journalists are more likely to connect online, staying in the office rather than attending a media event. Our research shows that these shifts create both challenges and opportunities for communications professionals.”
The report also suggests that daily services used by south east Asia PR professionals, for example those which aid tasks such as media monitoring, media analysis and social media management, are not integrated. Instead, the digital-led industry currently sources its services from a wide array of providers.
Douglas B. Taylor, founder and managing director of Burton-Taylor, says, “PR practitioners in the region told us they are using a variety of media intelligence services such as Meltwater, Isentia, Dow Jones Factiva and specialised local providers, as well as social media tools including Hootsuite, Synthesio and Digimind.
“However, the PR practitioners interviewed say no one service meets their needs for work across the southeast Asia region,” says Taylor.
Perhaps this demographic and geographical shift is symptomatic of a rising generational preference for conducting careers overseas. Given the challenges facing the UK’s millennial workforce, including high house prices and pay freezes, this is not altogether surprising. Yet the Burton-Taylor report shows that, while younger public relations professionals and journalists relocate to south east Asia, the industry and its associated services must refine their offering to meet the needs of a digital-led workforce.