PR's Death: A broken clock is right twice a day…

A gentle yawn, a quick stretch and then a long sigh.

Here we go again.

Once again I am failing in my preferred course of action which is to resist the  knee jerk post.

I am writing about the latest “wisdom” from our favourite self-appointed PR-industry guru Tom Foremski.

Tom has a long and proud track record of proclaiming the demise of “traditional” Public Relations.

This is just the latest.  But once again I’ll re-state my view that Tom is ahead of his (and everyone else’s) time.

PR isn’t dying or about to die. 

No agency or practitioner that is worth their salt or are serious about communicating effectively on behalf of its client is going to eschew traditional media and traditional PR activities for the bright shine of the new new online thing.

Yes PR is changing, but please, let’s try and keep some perspective.

Read Deloitte’s State of the Media Democracy.

It’s not about the tools.

It’s about the audience.

If your audience still (gasp) reads newspapers, then that’s still a valuable media. It may not have hype, it may not raise $400m in VC funding, but it’s bloody important.

In my opinion, Mr. Foremski’s post is pure rubbish – and I think five years writing on blogs about “New PR” and “Old PR” gives me some perspective on the matter.

I also work in PR which (shock) gives me a little more insight into the real world rather than the hyperbole and the mis-intended irony.

Mr. Foremski writer:

Strumpette and Amanda Chapel tried to stir up changes in the PR industry and encourage a new form of PR, by openly discussing ethical issues, and all the unpleasant aspects of knowing how the sausage is made.”

Then with no trace of irony goes on to discuss Transparency.

Strumpette was the most opaque PR blog on the roll. 

Hiding (I suspect) his identity Strumpette didn’t try and champion change, instead it was purely an attack vehicle for someone with an axe to grind.  Don’t mistake a grudge for open discussion.

Contrast Stumpette with “The World’s Leading” which takes a wry look at the business (in the UK) but is at least funny and even handed – everyone’s a target.

I’ve written various posts that address this issue of PR’s death, but given people still keep writing them, I think it’s OK that I keep rebutting.

Update: Some other good commentary added