December 3rd, 2008
In his blog post titled “Social Media Agency vs. PR Agency,” Todd Defren discusses the multi-dimensional challenges and opportunities facing the PR industry.
Having launched my career in the PR business in 1988, I have seen the profession evolve. Paper-based media kits, press conferences, and snail mail have been displace by URLs, online teleconferences and the Web. In the past year, it seems the use of email is moving to shorter bursts of communication in 140-character nibbles via Twitter.
I believe we all have a front-row seat and are watching a real-time transition or shift away from just “getting ink.”
This has been the mantra of PR industry for many years, but from a top-down, command-and- control mindset. As hierarchies and gatekeepers are being replaced with distributed networks and influencers, the PR business needs to adapt to this model and rethink how it is wired.
Springboard is a different company today than it was in 1995 when I launched the agency. We are implementing social media tools, techniques and programs and creating all types of digital content, such as online video. While some of these new tools cannot be measured in column inches and front page features, new metrics are emerging such as Twitter follows, Web click-throughs, etc. This is not to suggest “getting ink” is old school or no longer a priority.
I think the tactics are always going to change.
Maybe the “public” in PR evolves to “social” relations. Regardless of the name, as an industry, we must never lose sight of the real value of our profession which is to help clients effectively create and communicate their message to the audiences most important to them.