Forrester Forum: Corporate Image in the Age of Social Technologies with Richard Edelman

Every company is a media company now - so sayeth Richard Edelman during his presentation.

Now, full disclosure, I used to work for a competitor, but also interviewed both Richard and the head of the US, Pam Talbot and have a view on the firm (it's below).

His presentation is on how PR is changing, and how we need to change with it. For those basic rules, he points out:
  • Transparency
  • Dialogue
  • Honesty
  • Immediacy
  • Depth of content
  • Updating as you learn
  • Journalistic level of accuracy
Okay, it has been an interesting speech. While I don't agree with all the hires for the ME2Revolution, Edelman (the man and the firm) has pushed the boundary much, much more than any other agency out there. During my round of interviews with both PR firms and start-ups, I was often asked which agencies get it, and I would say three firms immediately: Edelman, MWW and MS&L. While Edelman gets a lot of the press out there (it's the good stuff you don't hear about, just the Walmart crap), the people at MS&L and MWW have done great stuff.

And, well, when you do good work, it's in the background. You should not know about the campaigns (despite claims of transparency and full disclosure, a good campaign is integrated and smooth, and about getting information out to the right audiences).

The job of PR is to not control, but to help move the conversation (old news, wrote about it in the past via Jack O'Dwyer that we need to be the bridge for media, and not pulling the Heisman).

Embrace the issues, adopt to the new reality - it's about coming together and trust.

  1. You are absolutely right on, friend.

    Sorry I was a bit rough about the Christie Hefner issue, but I'm a male feminist.

    Anyway, you are the first person I know of who explained how effective PR campaigns often are low key, unviral, and unknown. They are so smooth, they don't get detected on the Marketing Frenzy Radar, like Harry Potter and iPhone receive.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. I loved this notion of PR Jeremy. It helps me understand why some PR companies are not so successful at promoting themselves and their own events. Maybe it's because they are trained to serve others. I know from experience, I am much more competent at helping others than my own company.

    Edelman can thank you for me too. I am one of the ones outside the profession who has heard the mostly bad news.

  3. Would love to know the context that he talked transparency and honesty. Did he acknowledge his agency's mistakes in those area's?

  4. Vaspers - Thanks. We disagree on a lot (and agree to disagree, and I decide not to poke you on Twitter in those arguments too much). Yes, Hefner was interesting - and, no, did not submit your questions :) - but thank you for the compliment. It means a lot coming from you.

    Rox: I hope your speech went well today, and thank you. It is about community - heck, that's how I got to meet you and your dogs (virtually).

    Annie: He did, and he didn't. He's the head of a worldwide agency for a reason, and that includes being well media trained. :) But he did address the issues.


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