Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Wed, 29 May 2002 12:58:42 GMT

Reality PR 2.0

There’s a recent article on Silicon Valley.com entitled ‘Public Relations workforce: Feeling the Squeeze”, it follows on from dozens of stories over the past 6-12 months detailing PR’s fall from the heights and excesses of the Internet boom. There’s nothing new here, but it’s a timely reminder of how the PR industry milked the boom and exposed an extraordinary lack of business acumen.

Let’s not forget that during the boom, PR companies were hosting start-up beauty parades, asking entrepreneurs to justify why they should be added to the agency roster and then asking for exhorbitant retainers. This greed boom in the PR industry outstripped the excesses of every other professional discipline. The fact that the feathered farm animals are coming home to roost for many of these agencies is not a cause for pity or sympathy. As the old adage goes “if you live by the sword….”.

So PR now has to go back to responsibly managing business, working hard at finding new business and working harder at retaining existing business. What’s the problem? Those folks doing good jobs at competitive rates and tying activities back to their client’s objectives will thrive and prosper. Those dealing in ‘black magic’ and charging high unjustified costs will fade into memory. In effect, the market will decide and that is no bad thing.

One quote from the article that sums this up for me was from Upstart’s general manager Patty Lund. Now I must admit I was surprised by it, so maybe it’s out of context but the quote says; “What’s important to companies right now is revenue.” Hello? Revenue is ALWAYS what’s important to companies. The problem during the boom was that companies and the PR advisors lost sight of the importance of revenue. If your PR program isn’t helping directly or indirection to creating revenue – stop, rethink, re-plan and re-execute! Let me know what you think.

Written by Tom Murphy

May 29, 2002 at 1:58 pm

Posted in General

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