Friday, June 02, 2006

PR 2.0 Learning Curves

Yesterday I gave a "PR 2.0" presentation to about 40-odd PR pros, of various experience levels. I talked about the Social Media Press Release Template. I talked about "Pitching 2.0." About how the "one-too-many" approach to PR had become a virtuous loop between brands, consumers, and new/old media; about how each stakeholder is now interconnected, and (for the first time) equally impactful.

Heads exploded.

Many were intrigued and enthused. Some were intrigued but daunted. Some were skeptical. One asked, "Are you sure that this isn't a case of 'ready, shoot, aim' --- will the media 'get' this anytime soon?"

As an agency principal, I admit I'm daunted not only by the amount of time my own staff will require to get up to speed on all this stuff, but also by the amount of time it takes to make & sustain a valuable level of "connectedness." It's probably 3X the work. Will clients see enough value in these new models to boost their retainers? Not by 3X.

On the flip side, I honestly don't know how long it will take for mainstream media to "catch on" to this new paradigm. It very well could be a case of "ready, shoot, aim," into the forseeable future.

But I think that the days of Social Media PR are dawning. I think that if a few innovative agencies effectively execute a few PR 2.0 campaigns --- impressing some influential media via the use of traditional (pitch, relationship, email) and new (del.icio.us, multimedia) tools --- it will create a viral condition. It may take a while, but ultimately journalists will come to expect the higher levels of communication, trust, research, etc., implied by the new approaches.

Hat-tip to Brian Oberkirch at Weblogs Work for the inspiration. He's started a valuable conversation about the challenges agencies are already facing in their embrace (or not) of Social Media.

5 Comments:

Blogger Michael said...

Todd:
Good food for thought.

Hopefully, the fact that "journalists will come to expect the higher levels of communication, trust, research, etc." will come sooner than later.

But, in talking about the "dawn" of social media PR, I don't look at it as a new day, but as a longer day as spring and summer come on. (Sorry for the poor analogy.)

Social media is simply expanding our horizons and opportunities to reach consumers, prospects, etc. We're not leaving any of the old tools behind. We need to know about PR 2.0 and *all* available PR resources so we can best serve clients (or employers, for in-house people) with whatever strategies and tactics will best accomplish their objectives.
-- Mike

June 02, 2006  
Blogger David Phillips said...

Todd, I am working on a paper covering how organisations get involved in new media (so a lot of this is thinking out load as well).

Organisations are/have created an on-line digital 'self'.

This 'Digital self' has two parts. The output part, controlled by the organisation, and the extra contribution made by the Internet (links, search engine indexing etc.) and by people with web sites and social media creating a 'Digital aura' about the organisation without it doing much.

As the Internet affects organisations, there is a two way flow of information from the 'Real' organisation and the 'Digital' organisation. It already happens.

This adds a new range of (intangible) assets to the organisation including new processes and original responses to the new circumstance. In addition new relationships are created in new ways (email, web, Database interactions, Instant Messaging, social media etc).

The organisation is changed by its 'Digital self' and has changed its asset base - its 'Digital aura' is also an asset.

Its internal stakeholders respond to the influences of the 'Digital self' using a range of channels. If they don't use all relevant channels, the organisation is not optimising its return on asset.

As with most assets (Digital self and digital aura) they need to be managed to generate returns and I think this is the bit corporations have yet to 'get'.

At worst, it is something they should explore and plan to manage.

In addition, where the 'Real self' and 'Digital/aura self' are very different there is 'cognitive dissonance' among stakeholders (internal and external). This devalues the asset (even turning it negative).

As organisations use 'new media' they increase their digital footprint (eFootprint ?) thus adding to thier digital asset and opening opportunities to get a return on asset.

I will post this as a lecture (I hope in a few hours) as part of a project I am doing for LeedsMet Uni....

I don't think there is any going back but going forward is going to be fun.

June 02, 2006  
Blogger PR-Guy said...

Michael: agreed - we need to add PR 2.0 tools to our arsenal, not abandon old methods. My point is that - damn! - it takes a lot of time to get up to speed on this stuff, and doing so without any assurances that the media will find it acceptable makes it doubly daunting.

David: talk about "heads exploding" ... that's some "heady" stuff. Look forward to hearing more!

June 02, 2006  
Blogger Anna said...

Todd:

What will the rise of Social Media PR mean for the up-and-coming generation? As a student basically weaned on the internet, I have little difficultly seeing the importantance of such a media. And I am only a minor player.

It would seem that with the emergence of PR 2.0 and a growing need for people with experience in this realm of communication, focus would turn to the "net generation." The importance of the internet has been shouted at us since birth.

But what can we expect to see in the classroom, and maybe more importantly, what can we expect to see as we head into the workforce?

June 03, 2006  
Blogger PR-Guy said...

Anna: See today's post (June 5)! :)

June 05, 2006  

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