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

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I actually got a little frustrated with this panel. The real threat to PR is the refusal for some people to distinguish between publicity and public relations. Public relations, when done well, is a lot more about brokering relationships than it is about building online popularity. When Shankman equated success with the amount of Twitter followers you have and Solis, who I usually love to hear speak, plugged PitchEngine (why do I want to optimize traffic to a third party site?), I was left wondering if the panel only really applied to boutique tech PR, where the clients are only looking for visibility. The PR that will survive this economic crisis (and the next one) is the version that is focus on building and protecting reputation and not so singularly focused on today's flavor of social media.

The thing is, at the end of the day - clients still want (both old and new) media placements. That's what they want to see, you can educate all you like and bring lots of new services into the mix, but it's the bread and butter of what clients want. I see what Brian is after and I am with him - but I think it's still a bit off. The hard thing is that as traditional media shrinks, the demand for clips to be generated stays the same. This creates a not-so-good enviornment for both media and PR folk. We'll find balance eventually.

Valeria, The problem that I see is that bootstrap start-ups cannot afford the top levels of PR support. We must rely on blogs like yours to help us learn little by little and attempt to do things on a smaller scale, usually do-it-yourself. We rely on the kindness of others to help us get over the financial hump.
Then when our business model gets some traction and revenues build, we take advantage of more powerful PR.
Couldn't PR firms find a way to provide services for early-stage businesses and share in the PR investment? Maybe an agreement to lock them in for future, more profitable PR?

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