Random Thoughts at New Communications Forum

Sitting here today, as I came down on Caltrain (pretty fast ride) to do a podcast with Brian Oberkirch with other PR bloggers, and then sit and attend today.

The other PR (and not PR) bloggers were: Josh Hallett, Shel Israel, David Parmet, Mike Manuel and sickly Phil Gomes. And, joining us toward the end was Evelyn Rodriguez.

It was a good roundtable on the good and bad of PR and blogging, and where we all see the industry going. I gave the boombastic comments, naturally, but we were all in agreement that it's about social networks ...

Which lead to Charlene Li's keynote address was about social networks, and how the industry is changing for marketing and public relations to social networks. We don't control anything - not that marketing and PR really has controlled much - but that it's about giving up control. It's the new tools out there that are helping change things - it's email, instant messaging, RSS feeds (which can be more important than a blog itself), a blog. And, not all tools are the right fits, and depends on the kind of relationship you want to build. You want to speak to consumers, you can blog. You want the consumer to speak to you, you build online forums.

In the end, the new paradigm is about letting the consumer drive the brand. For good companies, that is not a problem. For bad companies - or companies that have major detractors - this could be bad. That's the risk companies need to take to grow the enthusiast base, and possibly convert the detractors.



  1. "In the end, the new paradigm is about letting the consumer drive the brand."

    So, IF that is true, will companies be forced to be more honest and operate with true, or at least greater integrity?

    Or, will the already honest companies succeed and grow, and the not-so-honest companies disintegrate into dust?

  2. Jeremy -- just realized, I think, that I called you "Cyrus" last night in my Sierra-Nevadaed state. Hate it when I do that. So yeah -- I am aware of who you are. ;)

  3. Best things I take away from this are:

    - RSS is more important than a blog

    - talking to bloggers is, indeed, PR

    The blog is just the easiest way, at present, to deliver the feed. What are the new delivery tools for content/writing that will be as easy to launch as a blog? Maybe that is the next big thing.

    Ah, the koolaid drinkers will not let go of the reality that companies and organizations talking to bloggers is PR. Like Milton Friedman said once, "Call it a waffle. Call it anything. It is still PR." I, of course, paraphrased. I think he was talkin about 'recession' and we know that PR is progressive, not recessive. (Well, depending on the practitioner and practice, that is.)

    Michael, I think both are true. It should force companies to be more honest. And, the honest will (most often) outgain the others.

    Nick, maybe you talked to Jeremy's "Sybil-side" ... I saw a photo of him at the conference entitled "Sherpa Jeremy". Cyrus is interesting. I'm going to share that with the students. Do you mind, Jeremy?

    OK, I'm ducking now.