Is it time to write an obituary for traditional PR yet?

July 1, 2009

According to this, the time is nigh.

Great inputs and observations from Martin Belam, on how social media techniques are being used by major publishers – his article also has implications for publishers, businesses, marketers, and of course PR providers.

With the advance of social media like a tidal wave upon us all, the sharp and the savvy PR deliverers are advocating their clients take a ride on the wave and enjoy it. New media tools and techniques are giving clients unheard of levels of control, exposure, measurement and feedback on their promotional efforts – and on a global basis too.

No wonder, then, that the traditional PRs are looking worried: their bleatings of ‘we-do-long-lunches-with-editors’ are no longer cutting the mustard with contemporary clients looking for greater value, better exposure, more customer inputs, and less cost.

I advocate clients utilising every tool in their communications arsenal to further promote themselves effectively, speedily, and on a cost-conscious basis. This undoubtedly includes new media tools.

Traditional PR providers, however, prefer the command-and-control model they grew up with and observed in the newspapers and magazines of old. Those days are long gone. Audiences have gained more control over the media process than ever before.

Is it time, then, to write an obituary for traditional PR? Partly yes, partly no.

My tuppence to the old-school PR luvvies? Either integrate, or move over quickly to die. The new media wave is here.

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