If anyone needed an example of quite how drastically PR has changed since web 2.0 got its teeth into it, this weekend has provided plenty.

Screw print deadlines, gone are the days when you could prevaricate your way out of a news cycle. Danny Finklestein and Con Home were broadcasting the news of the election that wasn’t over their RSS feeds hours before any TV had wised up to the story, and whilst one campaign may have come to an end, another managed to continue, just. Lewis Hamilton may have been let off but his story just goes to show that you can no longer manage TV cameras.

In a nutshell the problem is this, when the mechanisms of content delivery were few and linear, they could be managed. Now they are many and networked and they can’t. Those who succeed will be those who recognise that message management never really made it out of the 20th century. I don’t know what the next step for PR is, there is allot of talk about engagement and it all sounds good but, to be honest, I don’t know what real corporate engagement looks like. For the moment I’m happy if clients can stick to a very simple formula.

1. Consider PR before a decision is made, PR applied after a decision is spin.

2. Be open and honest. You can’t hide anything if the guy next door to you with a mobile phone  is every bit as able to publish a story as a BBC news crew.

3. Try to understand the power of content. The ubiquity of search based as opposed to channel based provision means that the internet rewards excellence in a way that traditional media never has and never will.

 

 

 

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