Seems like I am not the only one who rages in frustration at the inertia and inexplicable hubris among some in the PR industry. Check out this post by Brian Solis on his PR 2.0 blog. You’ll get a good laugh from the eulogy for the traditional press release, but more importantly you’ll nod your head in agreement with the argument that the PR agencies – and many of its practitioners – refuse to change their ways despite overwhelming evidence the world has changed. A follow-up post by Solis focuses on clumsy attempts to engage in blogger relations – a process reflecting limited understanding of the fundamental changes driven by social media.
As I’ve noted in previous posts, I’ve seen evidence of both the englightened and the egregious in this area – but unfortunately more of the latter. If I take a litmus test of meetings I’ve attended, articles I’ve read and conferences I’ve participated in, I believe most of the PR industry is still looking for an easy fix and trying to apply social media lipstick (or gloss?) to their old, tired handbook. And the painful thing is that most of the old playbook didn’t work even before social media emerged a couple of years ago. Though folks in PR like to make fun of their distant cousins in advertising and marketing, this is one area where the PR agencies are far behind in relevance and innovation. Some of that might be due to the built-in expertise and capability ad agencies have in Web technology and digital production, but that’s an easy excuse. The real answer lies in leadership, creativity and courage – individually and collectively – or lack thereof. Time for PR to get with the program and join the revolution.