The new PR

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So what is PR?

I think the dictionary would tell us something like PR is efforts or promotions creating good will towards a product or company.  

I'd tweak that a little and say that effective PR spreads the story of a brand or product.

Up until recently, this was done primarily through traditional media.  Here's how it worked:

  1. People in the media were looking for content for their TV shows, newspapers and magazines.  
  2. PR professionals had stories about their companies they wanted to spread.
  3. So, PR professionals spent their time developing trusted relationships with people inside traditional media and becoming a good source for content (think press releases).  

This was a win/win situation.  The media outlet got content that they needed and the brand got publicity.

But this isn't working the way it used to (just ask any PR professional). I think the main reason it stopped working is that consumers have moved their trust from traditional media to social media (their friends).  

This means that if you're in PR and you want have a job in a few years you'd better understand that the new PR is about engaging directly with consumers rather than through the intermediary of traditional media.

Your customers are speaking to you.  Are you listening?


6 thoughts on “The new PR

  1. Ruth Ann Bowen says:

    Hi, Jon,
    Thanks for the informative piece. I agree wholeheartedly. I don’t think traditional PR should be thrown out entirely, but social media definitely needs to be a large percentage of a PR plan these days.
    All the best,
    Ruth Ann Bowen

  2. A great book to go along with this concept is Seth Godin’s _Meatball Sundae_. Everything has changed and you can’t simply overlap social media on traditional media. You have to approach it entirely differently. It’s like a buddy of mine says, you can mimic the traits of leadership all day long, but true leadership is when it’s in your character. The same can be said about social media…you can mimic social media traits all day long (boost your numbers, post more blogs, create facebook pages), but until all of that becomes a part of who you are, not just what you do, it’ll always be a meatball sundae.

  3. Jon, I have friends in traditional PR. Chris Brogan / Julien Smith and Mitch Joel came to town…and the traditional PR folks never showed up to watch them speak. It’s amazing how quickly the game has changed and how resistant PR veterans are to change in some companies. Keep up the good work brother.

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