Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Why PR Sucks

OK, first off, PR doesn't suck, and shame on you for your mental note of agreement.

However, PR MEASUREMENT does kinda' suck. We're a young industry (thank you, Edward Bernays), so it's reasonable to suggest we're still figuring stuff out.

But for too long now, PR mavens have relied on witch craft ranging from the plain-vanilla "Column Inches" to the esoteric "Share of Voice" and "Brand Equity" in order to prove their worth. Buzz is great, but anything hot eventually turns cold. Cold comfort to the CEO trying to run a long-term business.

At my firm, we think PR needs to be linked to Sales. Many firms have also begun to advocate this, to varying degrees. Stupid me, I've been talking about this for 10 years, and relished the head-nodding that ensued when I talked about how "PR needs to shorten sales cycles...motivate larger first-time orders...motivate purchases by more qualified buyers...defer competitive entry, etc."

...But I did nothing to PROVE it! And now, every Tom, Dick & Jane in the PR industry who used to babble senselessly on about "Share Of Voice" has started talking about "Business Impacts".

Makes me feel like Philo Farnsworth. In 1927, Farnsworth was the first inventor to transmit a television image. The image transmitted was a dollar sign. Talk about telegraphing your motivations! How ironic that this pioneer barely earned a dime from his great idea.

No worries. Everyone else is still all talk, no action. I'm off my duff and taking action.


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