It really isn't, but it is freely distributed. That is the benefit of it when intended as communications to all stakeholders. Good PR comes at a cost - research, the experience of knowing what's important, the relationships we build to offer content that people want to make part of their lives. New media helps do the rest - it helps reinforce the publics' decision to pay attention to you and your business.
Will public relations continue to become more high profile in the year to come?
In its most basic definition, public relations is about helping organizations and individuals communicate with the people who are interested in them. Is this the new audience? It makes me uncomfortable to assume that audience means the people I want to talk with, unless I have done my part in attracting them by providing value and showing integrity of purpose.
The role of connectors used to be played chiefly by mainstream media journalists and editors. The reality today is that we have nearly enough time to execute our work. We find time and attention to read trusted sources - the new connectors - which are more and more fragmented. I think new media have changed the way we consume information - they are not just a new mode of transportation, so to speak.
1. The age of Surf (e.g. Yahoo web directory)
2. The age of Search (e.g. Google)
3. The age of Syndication (e.g. RSS, Internet Explorer 7)
We are moving into the stage where syndication and aggregation are taking new forms. FriendFeed, for example, is being used as both, plus as a micro blogging tool. What we consume is still directly related to what we care about and value, but today we are less uniform mass, more individuals with preferred listening channels.
Yet, I do not think this conversation is about technology at all. Not for the recipients on this end of the conversation, not in the least. However, I still think that PR practitioners have a little way to go on making their end of the attention/time commitment work for them and their customers.
From where I sit, many still do not know how to use email effectively - never mind FriendFeed, or Twitter. How can the pitch become more an invitation for a deeper conversation instead of a shotgun approach? Could PR professionals begin to leverage technology to their advantage? For example by building efficient data bases and mining them efficiently?
Today's press coverage may be more about Google search ranking than media placements; success comes when we discuss issues and trends more than product placements. It was never about the analysis of press clippings; good public relations has always been about attitudinal research.
More conversation, less persuasion. PR 2.0 may move freely through media, it most certainly requires thoughtful preparation and consideration for it to be a benefit to both its creators and its intended recipients. Agree/disagree? What am I missing?