Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The PR Industry In Need of Good PR As Usual

Sighhhhh....So I was reading some of the industry trades and blogs before going to work the other day, and came across a post in TechCrunch that has the following title: The PR Roadblock On The Road To Blissful Blogging, written by Michael Arrington. The nature of the article - how PR practitioners and the industry as a whole don't have a clue when it comes to interacting with bloggers or executing a social communications strategy.

I'm absolutely fed-up with the lack of respect that PR gets from both traditional (magazine, newspaper) and new media (bloggers, etc.), but I understand it. It's frustrating that traditional PR agencies don't understand that they can't just "cut and paste" the same tired, traditional tactics as they would for online. And really if you think about it, why would you want to? The beauty of digital PR and social communications management is that one has the ability to engage consumers in a two-way dialogue without the middle-man and generate targeted, qualified eyeballs from consumers who not only give a damn about your message, but will carry the torch - and your message - to their network of friends, readers and loyalists. Unlike traditional PR, digital allows for the ability to tailor your message in a manner that speaks directly to the consumer - not at them.

And unlike traditional PR, where many journo-types both loathe and begrudgingly need Publicists, bloggers (for the most part) are pretty down-to-earth, everyday people who are open and willing to listen to, and post your message - so long as you take the time to actually read their blogs, engage by commenting, etc.

What's my point? None really except to my PR brethren: stop taking shortcuts and do some due-diligence to understand who you're pitching at the end of the day; be forward thinking, be strategic, be engaged and be bold. Take pride in yourself and your profession and challenge those that work for and/or with you to live by the same standards. As for Michael Arrington, I don't necessarily disagree with your pov, as I think you raise a somewhat valid point; but let me ask you a question: where does TechCrunch get most of the information that it posts? Hmmmm...

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