New School of PR

Courtesy of Hugh MaCleod's gapingvoid blog

I am currently attending a conference on Strategic Media Relations organised by Pacific Conferences. Its a good refresher on public relations and also an opportunity to broaden my horizons and network.

As usual, it covered the blogosphere's growing influence (57 million blogs and counting), use of RSS, wikis, podcasts, photo/video communities, and so on.

A key takeaway which I have learnt from John Kerr of Edelman was that PR now has a new formula for success. It is no longer just enough to draft a press release, send it out via email or fax, call the assignment editors' desks and pray. You need to develop relationships with various different stakeholders - reporters, bloggers, corporate partners, staff and so on.

The formula?

Develop better relationships -> humanizing your offering.

1) Create Social Currency -> Conversational Capital

2) Get the people you care most about to talk about you
a) To more people
b) More knowledgeably
c) More often

3) Increase Share of Voice
a) Citizen generated media (blogs, wikis, podcasts, forums etc)
b) Mainstream media

4) Move the business ahead

The new school of PR should look at packaging content through various rich formats:
- Press releases
- White papers
- Podcasts
- Executive emails and opinion pieces (op eds)
- Visual media (eg video casts)
- Virtual events (eg online webinars?)

These would then be distributed - both ways - through various channels like MSM (mainstream media), corporate websites, digital and user generated platforms (forums), blogs, and other new influentials before it reaches the customer. I highlighted both ways to emphasise the need for dialogue and conversation between the organisation and its constituents.

In other words, its no longer enough to be a preacher on a pulpit giving a sermon, but a mix of both sermon preaching, street evangelism and even personal one-to-one counselling sessions.

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