Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Wisdom of Staying Relevant

Will Social Media Kill Traditional PR?

That’s a question posed by a consultant who thought of a great headline and hit a nerve. 98 people posted mostly defensive diatribes about how PR is so much more than just media – its strategy, its image control, branding, marketing, lobbying, etc.

The most recent person to write about this – in Ad Age today – discussed how social media is often an add-on these days – the advertising agency does all the creative work and then someone goes into the kids’ room and asks them to add something about social media. http://adage.com/digitalnext/article?article_id=143040

I used to work for a PR agency that was like that about graphic design. Their idea of visual branding, identity and messaging was “Make it pretty.” I wish I was kidding – but I’m not.

That’s kind of like the ad agencies cry of “Add something social.”

All of this is marketing. Marketing starts with the computer generated human who answers most phones at businesses these days and ends when I read your podcast. Ogilvy had this big campaign for awhile called Touch Point.

Every point at which you touch, reach, meet the consumer is a place that makes or breaks your brand.

In my experience – the bigger the company, the worse the branding experience. People hide behind info@gottohell.com. I like to write back to the computer generated responses which always come the first time you ask a question. Far better the chat rooms where real people actually discuss your problem. If I wanted to read the FAQs, I wouldn’t have written to you.

Anyway, I veer off course but my point is this. If PR people are any good at what they do they understand and keep up with all of it – marketing, sales, PR, promotion, advertising, customer service, social media, traditional media – because they know they have too. If they don’t, their businesses will die.

As their friends retire, their accounts will disappear. And the 20 something they are asking at the last minute to contribute a social media component will be their boss.

1 comment:

  1. From my perspective, it has all blended together (pr, marketing, advertising, etc) -- especially at the association level where one person wears so many hats already.