Tom Murphy – Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy blogging about PR and other things since 2002…

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

April 24th, 2007 · 11 Comments · Public Relations

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


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…


11 Comments so far ↓

  • Brian Solis

    I’m listening :)

    I agree with you, the number doesn’t matter, nor does the hype

    The idea behind PR 2.0 was to playfully call attention to the need for PR to evolve (this goes back to mid 90s)

    However, with PR 3.0 (as so noted by PRWeek), the whole idea of revisions becomes over-the-top ridiculous. As I state in my post, it’s all about taking these new principles and folding them into PR (without a number).

  • Tom Murphy


    I was wondering how long it would take you :-)

    Thanks for the comment. I agree with you, I think the danger is people become fixated on the number rather than the change :-)

    We’re in violent agreement!


  • Keith Morrison

    Hey Tom,

    Made me laugh this morning. Spot on.

    It’s the kind of thing I might have expected from an over enthusiatic Korean PR company. Lots of the media here bougt into this ‘number’ concept so you have magazines with great names like Photography 2.0, Sports 2.0, etc.

    Yet to see Sports 5.0, though.

    Hope you’re well,


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  • Tom Murphy

    Keith: Sport 5.0 is sooooooo yesterday

    Richard: PR 6.0? You’re soooo out of touch, we’ll be skipping 6.0 to got straight to 6.5, we expect this to hit in mid-May… this year…

  • Markus Pirchner

    Seems like IT naming “conventions” are rubbing off on PR, too. So if, e.g., numbering systems of OS producers are a role model, we’ll soon see PR 2009 and maybe we’ll end up at PR Vista or PR Jaguar or PR Sarge some day :-)

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