Monday, December 21, 2009

The Real PR

The world of PR remained a mystery to the masses for years. A company did a newsworthy thing, and alas! their information ended up in the papers, on television, or maybe even got reviewed by a media mogul of some repute. Then, suddenly, the whole PR thing became a mystery -- even to the professionals that had played in that space for decades. Hmmm… I think I understand why…

As ADG continues to leverage a still new and ever changing suite of social media tools to better expose our clients to their intended audience, we’re discovering more and more that e-outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere at large are indeed, the most “public” of public relations…

PR in the past was really just “MR” – for Media Relations. You see, the PR professional of yesterday spent more time working on how to impress and persuade the media to get coverage for their client than figuring out what the waiting public actually wanted -- or needed -- to hear. That’s not an indictment on them... they really were just doing their job. After all, let's face it, not impressing media “gatekeepers” equaled not getting exposure for the folks that wrote the checks for agency services. That’s where things have change – and changed big.

Enter; the real PR.
Now don’t hear me wrong… social media is not a silver bullet. It’s not a replacement for strategy. It won’t make bad products good. It won’t (completely) take the place of other media outlets. And it won’t, so far as I’ve seen, bring about world peace – despite the jeers of the web’s latest pioneers. But it certainly gets information into the hands of the public. Yes! The public! And if somebody (think your ad agency here) understands the medium and the clients they’re working for… the public that receives messaging through Social Media channels just might care about what’s being said!

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia just posted that “Wikipedia is about the power of people to do extraordinary things.” I think that’s the key… “extraordinary things.” If it’s newsworthy, it’s newsworthy. What's changed is that there’s a new way to beat a path to the consumer’s front door – and it actually goes way past the front door and right into their den, bedroom, study, and any other place that there’s web connectivity. It’s a brave new world… prepare to meet your public.