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.

6 thoughts on “At last, some REAL PR content…

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Blogging posts by PR consultants have a long way to go. I think we need to move forward and ensure that we contribute to the conversation – this is a no-brainer.

    Moving forward though, I think we need to take blogging strategy to the next level and learn from SAP.

    Couldn’t agree more.

    Vendors need to realise that they need to treat every group in their own specific way. It took years to educate companies that they shouldn’t lump analysts into the same bucket as the press – and now it appears that we are back to square one again but this time with bloggers.

    My post backs this point up.

  2. I am a postgraduate PR student, and the last 2 months I run my own blog, as part of the module PR and technology. During these 2 months I’ve come to grips with all these new media that I had no idea that they exist. Social Media Press Release, Podcasting, Twitter, Facebook etc etc.

    Wandering in the blogosphere I found myself realising how important this module proves to be, as everyone here talks about the new media and the PR 2.0. And I was really wondering, if everything else that I’ve been taught till now is of any value, as it seemed to me that nothing outside the web matters. I was wondering if the PR profession will be in the future totally connected to the wed, as more and more online tools are added to the array of the practitioners’ tools.

    But not…I agree with your point of view that PR is not only podcasting, Twitter and Flickr. PR practitioner’s daily routine has a lot more to demonstrate. I really recognise the value of new technologies to PR practice, and I am very satisfied that my course (MSc in Public Relations, Stirling University) offers me the chance to explore the miraculous world of social media. But as ancient Greeks used to say, “All things in moderation”. It is not everything about new media.

  3. Jonny and Gerry: Thanks for the comments!

    Evi:

    That is precisely the problem I’m talking about.

    Reading online blogs you’d swear there were no press releases, no magazines, and no “traditional” PR taking place.

    The reality is the 80% (or more) of day-to-day PR activity (right now) is traditional PR – though online is abslutely becoming more important.

    Furthermore, I believe that the traditional skills we learn as PR students and practitioners are just as relevant in an online world as in the off-line world.

    Thanks
    Tom

  4. Tom

    I think you’re spot on here. The most successful campaigns always have (and always WILL have) audience insight at their heart and then utilize the right channel to reach the target audience. With the excitement that has accompanied the shift to online, I think some practitioners have lost sight of this and have become obsessed with the channel rather than the audience itself. To my mind, this is just as dangerous as not ‘getting’ online…

    Clive

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