Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - SxSWi: Brian Solis, Changing Role of PR

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Brian, the PageRank argument is valid but again I don't think it's very universal. PitchEngine has a PageRank of 5, which isn't that high. For example, this blog, your blog and the sites for most major brands tend to rank higher. However, I do totally agree with your point about pairing releases with a blog post to triangulate traffic and essentially pull the content into a brand's own Web universe. I'm just still not thoroughly convinced that SMRs on third party sites are the best destinations for that kind of content. I'd rather see a company like PitchEngine license their technology to allow companies to offer enhanced press releases on their own sites.

We're in complete agreement on your last point. PR practitioners are essentially relationship brokers. It's both the reason why social media is so important and why aspects of it, like Twitter followers and Facebook fans, are so misleading. I'm more impressed with companies that make a few real connections online than those that build giant networks of relative strangers.

Thanks for your response. I know the one-hour panel format can be a tough place to convey a complicated idea. I was on a panel on Tuesday and the hour felt like 15 minutes. I'm going to pitch a panel about PR/social media myths next year and I will definitely invite you to join if it gets selected.

Valeria, it was an absolute pleasure to see you during SXSW. I'll be in your part of town in June, so I'm hoping we can see each other again!

Peter, there were also some tremendous points made during this panel that support the story beyond boutique PR. There was an entire list of topics I also wanted to explore, but just couldn't squeeze it into the format as presented.

Publicity + Public Relations = Presence and Community

Re: your question about why would you send someone to a third party site and not your own, it's mostly because a site such as PE (or any wire service) boasts a fantastic PageRank in traditional search and also SMO in social search - most likely greater than a majority of company blogs or sites. The idea is to pair the release with a blog post and/or unique company destination to triangulate traffic productively - capturing attention where it travels for information, which is usually elsewhere.

The state of PR and innovation isn't stifled by economic crisis as much as it's challenged by its reluctance to embrace new media and new processes in general. This is a 12-15 year old evolution and we're still talking about 1:1 interaction, relationships and direct customer engagement, with less of a top-down, broadcast approach. PR has a tendency to apply old methodologies to each genre of new tools and services. This is truly about reinvention, starting with field work before engagement. Indeed it's the only way to build, protect, and shape perception regardless of the tools presented. Everything starts with us as individuals to spark change from within.

@Sydney - or maybe Sunday was a a peer day with so many people passionate about social media and interactive around. I've written a post about that, actually. PR2.0 is not free.

@Kellye - you're always going to have those who wait and see with anything. They became successful doing something and they don't want to change that something as it's now their anchor.

@Bruce - what's interesting is that this is a conversation around time and attention, both of which are in scarce supply and can hardly be bought today.

@Adam - could the shrinkage of traditional media be the reason why I get dozens of press releases a day? Most have little to do with what I write about. Clips = what gets measured. Because even with traditional media, you cannot really make a direct correlation between a purchase and a media impression.

@Peter - "The real threat to PR is the refusal for some people to distinguish between publicity and public relations." The thing is that as consumers we trend towards noticing publicity (shiny object) at the moment, especially with social media as part of the equation. I must say Shankman was a disappointment. Consistent with his ignoring my blogging about HARO when he first launched.

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