Thursday, December 13, 2007

Future of PR

Wow, it's been a while. I can't believe it's already December 13th. I've been blogging a fair bit over at Executive Biz, my last few posts have been on senior-level government bloggers and how the feds are adopting social media tools into the workplace. HUD is using Google Maps API, can you believe it?

Anyway, I don't have a brilliant post, just top of mind stuff....

The PR blogosphere seems to be thriving and yet there's been this series of land mines that keep damaging the profession. I mean, even the NYT times is documenting how ugly it's gotten. It's important to remember that not everyone on the planet listens to FIR or reads Luke's Observations of PR. For the vast majority, the only exposure to PR is when issues like these bubble up to the surface of mainstream media. I don't pretend to have the answers, but it sure is frustrating...

It seems that many of the PR gaffes floating around out there are from the entry-level folks employing the 'mail-merge-and-pray' technique. The solution, it seems to me, is to use both in-house education and undergrad coursework to encourage thoughtful communications online.

The next generation of PR pros is not going to simply walk in the door and have these skills on day one. Sure, they're digital natives, and they may not remember 28.8k dial-up. That doesn't mean they've got the skills needed to monitor the conversation about a brand/issue online, or the ability to identify relevant podcasts, or how to set up RSS feeds for a client, etc.

I recently spoke to a class of senior level PR students at a local University. Virtually no one in the class used RSS feeds and by a show of hands less than half had heard of Technorati.

Now, I know, you’re in college; you don’t have time to dork-out with authority rankings, but my point is that you’ve got a whole industry starting to fumble because the landscape is shifting so quickly and 99% of the incoming talent has spent the last four years studying the AP style guide and writing press releases. Those skills are critically important, but isn’t also knowing a how to write a social media new release….?

Maybe I’m just disgruntled because it’s cold and raining in D.C. I’d love some comments on this, or maybe just a great example of digital PR in action to balance out this admittedly one-sided post...

1 comment:

Alicia Alexander said...

You rock!

I love the Homer Simpson "Doh!"