The world of public relations has changed radically in the last few years. Indeed, as a barometer of society itself, it has had to. The challenges we face as a society, such as globalization, global warming, the need to rebase our notions of business and to re-evaluate our values away from ever increasing consumption, are unparalleled. Added to that are the seismic changes that new, communications-based technologies bring to the way we connect and the nature of the interactions we have. These changes are generating fundamental shifts in power away from traditional sources of authority. Those individuals and groups who can understand what is going on and are able to work with the new communication tools at our disposal will emerge as a new elite. It is not the remit of this book to explore the details and ramifications of all these deep and wide changes that are happening, but the impact on the practice of public relations overall is profound and therefore cannot be ignored.

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