Some PR reading for the weekend

Here are some common sense posts on various aspects of Public Relations.

Heather Yaxley has a nice post on PR Conversations: Future leaders need more than digital PR:

The beauty of building your career around knowledge and skills gained in public relations is that you have transferable competencies that offer a solid basis for extending your career laterally or progressing upwards. Indeed, the multi-direction potential is substantial – enabling you to craft a career tapestry that is individual and original. Undoubtedly digital PR will be a thread weaving through organizations going forward – but if you are to look back on a successful and rewarding picture of your working life, I recommend, you don’t rely on this talent alone.

The irrepressible Jeremy Pepper tells it as he sees it, as usual, in his post Has PR Lost the Fire in its Belly?

We’ve become so tired of the good fight, that we just go with the flow. And, yes, that’s a lot of what is happening in public relations nowadays: the real seasoned communications veterans who wear their battle scars with pride are getting tired of the fight, and the new "senior" people – more like junior staff without the experience to do what is needed and right – just going along for the ride.

Elena Verlee has a honest to goodness common sense post on building long-term PR relationships in a digital world:

Thought leadership doesn’t happen overnight. Neither do relationships in business or with the media. Taking the time to sow good seeds, nurturing them carefully and with patience, will allow you to reap the return of a bountiful harvest — sometimes sooner, sometimes later.

Jason Falls’ post on The PR Guide To Email Pitching and his follow up The Blogger’s Guide To PR’s Email Pitches are worth a read:

Yeah, I know it sucks. I used to think PR was easy, too. I’d download my list of 400 outlets that qualified under my target parameters, copy and paste my press release and hope like hell for some pick up. I’d follow up and call about 15 key media outlets and develop the relationship part, maybe get 5-6 of them to bite on the story, along with the 2-3 dozen small town newspapers that were so starved for content they copy-pasted my release, and made my clients or bosses happy.

It’s a question of trust

Forrester’s Josh Bernoff has published some interesting findings from a survey they undertook in the second quarter (April-June) of 2008 to find out the most trustworthy information sources.

Interesting, good old e-mail comes in a #1, traditional media is holding up nicely and the poor blog (particularly the company flavour) limps in last.

image See the original image and post here.

Of course if you’re a PR practitioner you know all about statistics :-)

The interesting validation for me is that the results point to a crazy mix of online and offline tools.  It’s not just about social media, it’s about understanding your audience, getting an insight into where they are, and then using the appropriate tools to communicate with them.

This doesn’t mean corporate blogs are a bad idea in my humble opinion but that if you want to communicate with people you need to be thinking of a broad set of tools.  Blogs are part of that discussion in my humble opinion.

Hat tip to Neville via (ahem) Twitter.

New PR firm… social media echo chamber… when e-mail goes bad and blog badges..

A big congratulations to Stephen Davies on his brave new venture, he’s set up his own PR firm 3WPR. You can read the announcement here, and Stephen’s blog post on the new venture here. I wish him the very best of luck!

I found myself nodding in agreement with Jonathan Trenn‘s editorial on ZDNet: Echo Chamber: Social media strategists are talking to themselves.

So how does this effect social media? It shows that, like Pandora, we’re going to have to learn our way on effectively building relationships with clients, agencies, and other key stakeholders in this unexplored territory. We’re going to have to learn how to dynamically position in the disparate roles we’ll be playing. We’re going to have to find our voices beyond the conversation we have with one another. Otherwise, it won’t be enough.

Hear hear! [Link courtesy of Trevor Cook]

Shel Holtz shares a cautionary tale of how a draft e-mail sent to the wrong people can cause a major crisis.

Todd Defren is offering bloggers some free badges to let PR people know if they’re open to pitching or not.  It’s a nice idea though I fear that it won’t stem the flow of ill-judged PR spam…