|By Fuat Kircaali||
|June 17, 2009 11:00 PM EDT||
Last week I received an email from Lindsey Miller at Ragan Communications. I answered her questions for a story she was working on here.
The following is the full text of my reply to her on this subject.
What kinds of PR firm will survive the "fast-approaching new media avalanche"? What steps will firms have to take to ensure that they make it through?
I know a lot of PR firms that are chasing new accounts among publicly traded companies, which are seen as cash cows in the business. I also know a lot of firms whose sales teams are larger than their senior account staff which will actually get the job done. These firms have armies of new college-grad telemarketers spitting out press releases to the media.
For a while you can get away with both approaches. Once the laws, rules and regulations change, the first group of PR firms will disappear overnight as I mentioned in my original blog entry here.
The demise of the second group of firms will come from the social media freight train. PR firms need to catch up with the change.
What will the "new" PR companies look like?
The new PR companies won't be putting out press releases and won't be in the press release business. The PR firm of the future will employ professional bloggers who will use social media tools to get their message into the hands of their targeted audience. The press release business already belongs to the Stone Age. The new PR game will be played by rock star bloggers on brand new platforms and distribution channels such as Ulitzer.
If the rules change for publicly traded companies, will PR firms have more of a chance at surviving?
Why do you think social media is so damaging for PR firms? Can't it be helpful as well?
It can be very helpful indeed. But change is painful. As I mentioned in my blog prompting this conversation, the topic goes back to the saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." A large number of PR companies are still living in the Stone Age. Again as I said, I've had exchanges with owners of well-known PR companies who don't even know the basic mechanics of the Internet. How will these people and companies adjust to the change? They haven't a chance. If you can't see the future already, what are your chances to lead the future? None.
Can you give any examples of PR firms who are doing things right already?
I don't know of any PR firm that's waving the flag of the change that we are living through. IMHO all of the existing PR companies are challenged by what's coming up. I don't think there's one company out there that's thrilled to see what's going on. They used to be kings five years ago. Will they be around in another five years? I don't know.
How do you imagine the new social media platforms that you talk about that don't exist yet will work?
Good question. Blogs are relatively new, if you consider the mass of the population. At a cocktail party less than a year ago someone I was talking to from the financial industry (a stockbroker) told me, "You know there is something called a ‘blog' and people who write blogs are called bloggers?" I said yes I know.
Job titles from the future: Steve Adubato "Politcal Analyst & CBS2 Blogger"
Today, the mass of the population knows "blogging" as their Facebook pages, and 99.99% of the blogs being written are never read by anyone except the blogger's family and friends.
This means two things. Not everyone has to write a book, sing, or blog. The ones who have something to say in their blogs will evolve into more professional platforms. The social media platforms that do not exist today will be created to serve the professional community of writers and bloggers.
When radio was invented, it was like the Internet - anyone could talk into a microphone and have their voice heard by the neighbors who owned a radio device. We'll see the consolidation of content on the Internet. The new media platforms will clean out the garbage and the noise and display useful content.
The challenge for PR companies is try to stay above the trash filter with what they produce as content. I can't imagine anyone's favorite pastime is reading press releases. Companies that keep PR firms occupied will also move on to tools and platforms that stay above the Internet's trash filters.
This doesn't mean spamming the world on Twitter, Facebook or whatever. Today's social media tools serve a purpose today and will fade away as things evolve.
Can you think of any examples of sophisticated social media initiatives that companies are pursuing with the currently available social media tools? Is it a waste of time to get involved now?
I don't think it's waste of time or energy. It will turn Facebook or Twitter into a pure spam machine sooner rather than later. If your message isn't interesting, who cares if you Tweet your heart out all day or write graffiti on people's Facebook walls?
Do you believe there's still a need for PR? What about the other functions PR serves, such as crisis communications? Who will handle that?
Sure there will always be need for PR. My point is, if you take the bulk of activities that make up today's PR, a big chunk of the revenue-generating tasks will go away. I don't know what you call the rest; crisis communications is one you mentioned.
Do you have any responses to the comments that appeared below your original post?
We approved all feedback to my post with no edits. I read them all. My comment is: I am not against PR firms. All I'm saying is watch out, there's a big freight train coming.
|Loraine Antrim 06/19/09 10:25:00 AM EDT|
This seems to be a continuation of some of the concepts raised in "Is the PR Business Extinct?" post. And to your point, Fuat, there will be a shoot-out at the PR corral with not everyone surviving.
However, some PR agencies that are small and nimble, with a GenY mindset, are already thriving and gaining ground. Some are creating practices exclusively around social media and are developing and influencing relationships with key bloggers.
Many larger PR firms also have jumped on board the social media train, and have actually been leading the charge through their own blogging efforts, but because they are huge global enterprises, it is harder to have "the social media mindset" permeate throughout their organizations. Pockets and silos, but perhaps not an organization-wide commitment.
I'll put my money on the smaller more agile PR firms who are already creating a presence and influencing the blogosphere and twittersphere. When the avalanche clears out, they will be the ones who walk away as major players. Loraine Antrim
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Dec. 4, 2016 06:30 PM EST Reads: 2,159
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Dec. 4, 2016 06:30 PM EST Reads: 2,023
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 4, 2016 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,530
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 4,151
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 597
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 4, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 3,249
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 4, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 1,993
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Dec. 4, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 924
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Dec. 4, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,900
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Dec. 4, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 580
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Dec. 4, 2016 01:45 PM EST Reads: 2,157
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Dec. 4, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 1,536
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 4, 2016 12:45 PM EST Reads: 2,125
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Dec. 4, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,674
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 4, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 782
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 11:45 AM EST Reads: 386
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Dec. 4, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 907
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Dec. 4, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 2,215
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 4, 2016 10:45 AM EST Reads: 887
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Dec. 4, 2016 09:45 AM EST Reads: 563