The old manner of doing PR is broken. Social media might,
gum some of the parts back on.
I’m a niggling hesitant to write a blog post almost the way that the PR industry is adapting to online media (or how, in some circles, maybe it
to alter). Maybe it’south likewise “inside baseball” for people whose attention is on engineering science and business strategry, rather than on the mean solar day-to-mean solar day foibles of engineering science journalism. But I call up this is an issue worth examining from a meta-view, considering the whole notion of our lives beingness affected by online communities is that it changes how
works. Even the PR people who work for your visitor. Think of this as a instance study for a non-terribly-technical part of your business organisation.
I’one thousand probably the right person to await at this, since I accept a bit of fame in PR circles equally the lead writer of the Care & Feeding of the Press, a guide for PR professionals. That document is so erstwhile that its pixels are fraying about the edges, now; it was written in a time when information technology was remarkable for a company to have a /press folio on its site. Merely you’d be appalled, really, by the number of Sweet Young Things who yet call me to ask if I’ve gotten the electronic mail with their printing release. Yeah, the unsolicted one with an 8MB zipper.
So I was very interested to read a weblog post by one online-savvy PR firm almost a presentation they gave on More Effective PR Through Social Media. I don’t know this PR business firm, or at least I’m not aware of it if I have interacted with them, simply I like what Perkett PR said about using social media. It is indeed a new and sometimes-better way to communicate and to interact.
[T]heir eyes did light upwardly when Heather explained Twitter like this: It’due south similar entering a noisy, crowded stadium and saying, “Is there a doctor in the house?”… The entire stadium quiets to silence and anybody sits down except for four people that raise their hand and say “I can help!”… Information technology’s that powerful and can provide a whole new lifeline of resources to draw from.
Nosotros at CIO are personally engaged with like topics, just equally you are: using Facebook for business, taking advantage of LinkedIn, the business value of Twitter, and and so on.
The former PR mechanism, which was established when faxes still walked the earth, merely is no longer relevant, and it does a poor task of helping a company with a worthwhile message accomplish the people whom it needs to reach. We CIO.com writers and editors are inundated by press releases and (withal nicely worded) “write near us!” pitches from vendors and their PR staff. And you’ve probably noticed that our coverage generally isn’t almost products.
Yet, if we had a nickel for every poorly-targeted printing release nosotros received, we’d probably be able to afford the kind of business organisation lunches that you all imagine we indulge in. (Instead of scarfing a borderline salad at our desks while we type, which is the truthful land of diplomacy.) Yet the old-school PR people “solve” the problem by diggings out press releases with footling attention to the identify or the needs of the recipient. Face up it, PR folks; CIO.com isn’t going to write well-nigh iPod skins. (Oh darnit. I just did.) Nosotros answer to the deluge by using the Delete key; few tech journalists I know have the time to write a polite “No, thank you” answer.
In other words: the old manner of doing PR isn’t cutting information technology anymore.
I like the idea of that industry using online tools to connect to the
people, and to avoid abrasive the wrong people. I like the mental attitude that this PR firm expressed. I can see several means in which social networks can enhance the procedure. For instance, ane bright PR person saw me post that I was researching Ajax technologies and sent a friendly offer of her company’s tech staff.
But I fear that online communities are merely as probable to be used poorly as are the other, older methods of PR. Considering PR done
doesn’t change, fifty-fifty if the communication medium does; and PR washed poorly quickly becomes spam to the wrong recipient, no matter which medium is used.
For example, it doesn’t work to e-mail thousands of press releases and to hope that three of them state well; why will it piece of work any better to tweet about what a client did or to post it on digg? The stadium with 50,000 baseball fans and including 4 doctors is happy to step back for one life-threatening emergency, but they’re not going to stay quiet if there are 30 not-really-emergencies during a game.
In the long run, the business organization process for successful PR people won’t alter at all, even if the tools do. No matter how they attain me initially, their job is still almost creating relationships with journalists. PR people with poor skills will exist equally bad no thing which technology they use. The good ones find out what the journalist writes and cares about, and offer something that helps her do her job well. The PR people who practise that are gilt, in my book, and I’ll go out of my fashion to answer any e-mail message they write. It doesn’t matter overmuch whether that contact is fabricated by e-post or twitter; the chore is all the same the same.
(Maybe it ought to go without saying, but these opinions are my own, non necessarily those of anyone else at CIO.)