Even though I tweeted the July 4 New York Times article, “Spinning the Web: PR In Silicon Valley”, it’s created quite a stir in our industry and I’d be remiss in not commenting on it.
The PR industry is changing. That’s right. I said it. The PR industry is changing. We need to get on the bandwagon already. A survey by IABC showed that two out of three communicators think Twitter is a fad. I think most communicators are as fearful as their clients about change and getting out of their comfort boxes. I also think Twitter eventually will be a bunch of PR people talking to a bunch of PR people, but there will be a new technology that will continue to allow us to develop and foster relationships online.
But isn’t this what PR is all about? Developing and fostering relationships? So why would any of us, as the New York Times article suggests, IGNORE any of the relationships we’ve spent our careers building? If they’re still in business, as are the major newspapers, magazines, and bloggers, isn’t it our job to make sure we reach all of them, in addition to the influencers who can be found on the social networks?, on behalf of our clients?
At Arment Dietrich, we always talk about how our ideal client allows us to marry traditional and new communication for better results. We like social media because it’s MUCH easier to measure than traditional communication. But we also don’t ignore mainstream media just because a client says the blogger or reporter is cynical.
I’m willing to bet TechCrunch, AllThingsDigital, and GigaOM will never take a call, pitch, tweet, email, or Facebook message from Brooke Hammerling or anyone on her team ever again. Which truly is a disservice to any of their tech clients.