What’s in a name or a number? Welcome to PR 5.0…

There appears to be a growing number of PR people on the InterWeb with ADD.

Rather than just discuss the changes taking place to PR in terms of new tools (e.g. blogs and podcasts) or practices (e.g. conversation) they have to give it a new moniker – normally a number. Why?

Use what works, watch what’s interesting and discard what’s irrelevant.

 

Now I see that PR Week is now pushing PR 3.0….. urrrghhhh.

Sorry I had to take a break there, I could feel the pressure growing in my brain and my chest tightening.

While PR 3.0 is a first, PR 2.0 is now commonplace and in fact the 2.0 crowd are now correcting the 3.0 crowd.

Now if we are going to use version numbers surely we should be doing this on something based on history.

For example:

PR 1.0 – Handing out coins to kids in the slums

PR 1.5 – Ivy Ledbetter Lee/Edward Bernays

PR 2.0 – Press releases

PR 3.0 – Radio

PR 4.0 – Television

PR 4.5 – Tabloid culture

PR 5.0 – The InterWeb

Jebus. 

PR 2.0 Panel @W2E

I’m not clear what the presentation is dealing with :-)

What does it matter? What matters is our audience, our clients, our people, our tools (online and offline) etc. etc..

The number doesn’t matter, nor does the hype.

I know I post on this subject with boring regularity. This is probably Post 555.1 on the matter – but it’s OK, no one is listening…

Do beware pitching bloggers but don’t ignore them…

Shel has a great post here on why you do need to be careful pitching bloggers, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.  He pulls together some useful resources.

Just remember, while some journalists are bloggers, bloggers aren’t journalists, it is a different ball game.

Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that this lesson has got out to a number of our brethren.

Stuart points to another example of a terribly poor pitch.

On a related note, Shel has another related post regarding the issue of ownership of online advocacy.

This is a great example of why we, as a profession, need to start stepping up regarding online communications.  While I don’t think we should be recommending that 25% of the marketing budget be channelled into a Twitter farm, but I do think we need to ensure we are on point for communications be it online or offline.

Fairly obvious that.

At last, some REAL PR content…

I’m bored.

No sorry, bored is the wrong word.  I am frustrated.

There are now over 670 PR blogs which should provide a rich, interesting ecosystem of thinking and opinion on the practice of Public Relations, yet it appears to me that we’re stuck in a never ending echo chamber focused on “Noun 2.0”.

As a full-time PR person, who has an interest in the emergence of online tools, I need more than that. Whether you like it or not, the practice of PR extends far beyond your web browser.

I think a good example of this limited horizon is the “#1 PR blogger”.  Steve has done a great job, but his blog has veered away from Public Relations – if it ever was in PR :-).

His latest snafu, which predictably spawned widespread “outrage” [folks – get a life and stop letting the green-eyed monster swamp your senses] is simply an indication that Steve is too close to the hype.

For the majority of PR people, online is simply one channel of many.

PR people have recognized its importance, but for most it’s a small part of a busy and complex day job – because that’s how our audience sees it.

Following a recent “he doesn’t get it” episode, I swopped some e-mail with an individual who firmly believes that if you are not adopting every shiny new thing, then your job in PR is history.

No honestly, he meant it.

Pur-lease.

PR is a broad church.  You must master all its tools and channels.  You must be pragmatic.

Use what works, watch what’s interesting and discard what’s irrelevant.

Taking that approach means you’ll continue to be successful and hold down a paid job. Otherwhise you will be history.

That’s the long and somewhat tortuous introduction for the subject of this post.

Mike Hofman pointed me to an article in the latest issue of his magazine, Inc.

It’s an open letter from Geri Denterlein, President of Denterlein Worldwide to her past, present and future clients about how PR works, how to work with an agency and how to increase your hit rate.

Read it.

It’s about real PR, not the Kool Aid.

Some events coming up…

There are a number of noteworthy events coming up…

The NMK Forum plans to address digital innovation and the digital business landscape.  It takes place in London on June 13th 2007 with a good speaker line up including; Dan Gillmor and Jason Calacanis. [Thanks to Simon Collister – the latest Edelman recruit…]

 

Postiecon, a conference focused on helping bloggers to build audiences, deliver better content etc., is taking place in Orlando on June 1st and 2nd and features a keynote from Mr. Scoble. [Thanks to Chris Abraham]

 

Finally for viewers in Ireland, the Interweb has finally arrived, and the PRII annual conference is entitled “New Era, New Challenges… A New Way of Communicating”. Speakers include Aedhmar Hynes from Text 100…

 

Postscript:

Sorry Joe.  Mea culpa. I did mean to include it.

BarCamp Dublin – This Saturday

BarCamp Dublin is taking place this Saturday at the Digital Exchange, which is part of the Digital Hub. Loads of great speakers including my own personal favourite Moose tickler. [Oh and Microsoft is a sponsor…]

Web 2.0 doesn’t understand the concept of time…

Some things take time.

While the InterWeb has created the illusion of condensing time, the reality is that boring things like attracting and retaining audiences, which ultimately leads to value for the “publisher” and the “audience” takes a lot of time.

Now many of the “new world crowd” will tell you I’m a boring old fart and that these things don’t matter in the new shiny online world, but I disagree.

In Ireland, kids use Bebo.  MySpace is a distant second, very distant.  Why? Well because all their friends are on Bebo (most of my friends struggle with e-mail).

When you get a critical mass of people using or consuming a service then you have something incredibly valuable.

However, when you are operating in a world where every second day something “exciting” emerges and you have an audience (albeit small in the bigger scheme of things) hopping from one to another – there’s little value. 

This is one of the reasons why Second Life is making some money.  If you want to go into a Virtual World, chances are you’ll go there.

I see there’s now a new Twitter.

I’ll grab another coffee and watch what happens.  I’m not sure my conscience can take another orphaned online account.

PR Social Network Considers VC Funding…

Well we now have 28 live bodies signed up to the Online PR community which we are billing as the stress free path to social networking.

Sign up and that’s it.

Why not come and join, you never know one of these days we might actually do something.

You can click here and join.  It free – the ultimate Web 2.0 business model – and while Ning sites do have AdWords we don’t get a red cent.

To avoid boring my mother, this is the last time I’ll promote it here. 

However I may post a report on our progress.  Then again I probably won’t :-)

Some common sense…

I like Shel’s post a lot.  There’s a lot of hyperbole.  Let’s remain focused on what’s important to every communicator.  How people are finding and using information. The new tools are great and they are important but don’t forget that change takes time and traditional media, tools and expertise remain as important as ever – and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

That’s what matters.