Thursday, September 14, 2006

PR Boom Boom

The Guardian's Katie Allen believes its boom time in PR. She writes: In the wake of recent bad press for big names such as Cadbury and Thames Water, companies are waking up to the importance of "reputation management", fuelling a boom in the public relations industry.

Managing reputation is not about public relations it is about managing managers. If the PR person (corp affairs person, comms officer or other description that avoids the words 'public relations') is not facing down managers who should have been put out to grass with Stalin, then they are not doing their job.

So this 'Boom' is built on a fallacy and PR managers who are not gutsy enough to sit in on the board and other meeting and stir the waters.

The other boom has to be teased out of this quote:

The chief executive of Chime, Christopher Satterthwaite, said most companies were taking public relations more seriously as a result of advances in technology.

"If we live in the information age when anybody can find out virtually anything about any individual, any brand, any corporation, then the need to manage your reputation to me is so self evident that not to do so is corporately irresponsible," he said.

note the words 'advances in technology' - THAT is where the boom really is.

The reason I say this is that the online community is already disrupting the organisations (e.g. if you sell on-line you have systems that allow you to. This is the Internet audience changing the organisation for more about this see my lecture) it forces transparency and it makes organisations more porous.

It also means PR has to be the arm of the company that drives this area of activity.

So: Boom Boom!