Andy on Twitter

  • Publicis prioritizing investment is super smart. Nothing to be gained from investing in Cannes. Way over priced ,
  • Cannes this year is both shallow and disappointing. Some ok content but overly commercial and no CMO agenda ,
  • Shares in Cannes Lions' owner fall as Publicis pulls out and WPP voices doubts ,
  • All marketing arcs lead to membership. @Cannes_Lions,
  • Sharing = currency of communications. The system (social media) carries the currency and enables transactions . @Cannes_Lions,
  • Better never stops @Cannes_Lions,
  • Love the power of great brands + great artists + great institutions being drawn together by the artist ,
  • Yup ,
  • Unification of Unilever marketing org means better control over assets - less duplication/volume and more localization @Cannes_Lions,
  • Keith makes a fair point on reach - is about reaching those you haven't reached. @Cannes_Lions,
  • Creativity is last source of competitive advantage. Maybe... ,
  • Unstereotyped ads perform 25% better. a convenient number? but just the same a powerful point if even 5% better. @keithweed,
  • Brand safety and suitability go hand in hand. Some progress made but way to go. @keithweed,
  • Time to tackle the bots. Rip the ad fraud out. No such thing as cheap media. @Cannes_Lions,
  • Must count 100% of pixels as a view. Not 50% and not less. Need for 3rd party verification @Cannes_Lions,
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Public Relationships…

Public relationships has been what Public Relations has been about since the phrase was first coined. Read any history of the industry. The future, much like the past, will all be about public relationships albeit in new ways with new tools. But, IMHO, defining it in these terms is of little help to any PR practitioner. What we do need a deeper understanding of what this Participatory Era is all about. I’m not just talking the need for a new tag.

I see and meet many communications professionals working hard to understand what to do next. Much of the focus is around using all the new technology we have at our disposal to engage in deeper conversations with communities – not just audiences – that surround products and businesses. And, how to participate authentically with them. In this context, Blogs are not public relationships. They are however a tool or platform for engaging in the kind of dialog that underpins healthy relationships.

Another notion I’d like to challenge is the premise that companies could communicate much more
effectively in this Era by just encouraging everyone to chatter away. This is as much of a
bunk as the notion that PR people are purely intermediaries and connectors. I’m not saying it will work or not work exclusively – but as a
premise its nonsensical. It assumes that "the public" actually cares
about the thousands of opinions a company might express through these
thousands of micro-channels, let alone that they have the time to do
it. And, maybe PR people have an even greater role as intermediaries – just not with the other intermediaries: the media, influencers and pundits – but now directly with their communities?

Now, I’m not saying don’t let people blog. I advocate quite the opposite.
Let them at it. But viewing this as a communications strategy is a big mistake. What it really misses is what the audience wants. What is important here isn’t what we want PR to become but what communities want from their partners. That will define what PR is.

In fact, where PR really gets challenged is that their intermediaries are becoming less important. With the emergence of direct communications channels like podcasts and blogs I want to hear directly from the source. I’m not interested in anyone who is an intermediary – traditional media and pundits esp. And I’m increasingly frustrated that some of my favorite brands (they all begin with A) haven’t got this yet.

Anyway, what so many of these posts miss is that the people driving the spin and opacity in communications today are primarily the business and marketing leaders – OK, PR people are in the mix – but they aren’t the driver. Pointing to PR people and the profession as the origin of the problem is a total cop-out. We need to move this dialog into the c-suite. This revolution we are in the midst of is all about changing the ways companies communicate and that needs to start at the top.

I also don’t know what the PR industry will look like in 10 years (although I have some ideas). What I do know is that a deeper understanding of what it is today and what it has been are desperately needed if we are to really grasp the implications of blogging and the Participatory Era for business – and the business of communicating.

One Response

  1. By T on July 18th, 2005 at 6:33 pm

    Excellent stuff.

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