Friday, June 23, 2006

PR 1.0 R.I.P

I saw this posts in Crispy News from Dan Geenfield in which he makes this point “Have we reached the point of collapsing the distinction between traditional PR and its new media offspring or mutations (depending on your perspective)? Has PR 2.0 become the new PR 1.0? ....... We are still grappling with the pros and cons of blogging, while we continue doing our day job of generating MSM media, keeping our bosses and clients happy and having a life outside of work.”

What strikes me about New Media is how it adds value.”

I commented on his blog but it is worth considering further.

We invest a lot in press releases.

I was looking at how stories move round the media to update my lecture on Internet moderated PR and it is becoming quite obvious that press releases, one online, move through a range of communications channels such as news agency reports, news aggregators, search engine lists, online newspapers and blogs. It struck me that Radio, TV and print follow through but often hours, days or weeks later.

The eFootprint is significant even for simple activities such as press relations. It is my view that such activity adds to the value of organisations. They add to the 'Digital self'. This is a concept that I explore in some depth here and which identifies how online Public Relations makes a considerable contribution to the value of companies and other organisations.

New Media as added content and coverage in a blog or blogs offers additional deep briefing which enhances a stories potency and offers journalists (including citizen journalists), added opportunities to spin extra content and context (and a wiki to proved even more content is better still). Cross posting adds Google Juice, tagging prompts wider coverage and an RSS feed on the release, blog, wiki, web pages means that some people will come back for more because it is a subject of interest.

Podcasts about releases from authorities in their subject also adds legitimacy and trust.

This means that, in practice, the job of pitching a press story does not stop with a conversation and press release to a journalist. We have many more channels through which we can pitch. Some are indirect (a newspaper) and others are direct (a blog post).

For all these reasons, it seems that the, already significant, investment in a press release is not fully realised without the contribution new media makes.

For something like a doubling of cost, there is the opportunity for many times the benefit.

New Media is a competitive and commercial necessity. If we do not use new media, are we letting the client down? Or, to answer Dan's question, is that we have to use channels for communication. PR 1.0 is dead unless we are prepared to undervalue the client's story.

Picture: PC by Paul