Does PR need media relations?

Det går inte en dag utan att jag läser om hur opinionsbildarna blir tusenfallt fler, hur media förändras och hur kraftigt PR-industrin förändras. Och det nu – i skrivande stund. Trots det så fortsätter svenska PR-kommunikatörer att skicka “vanliga pressmeddelanden” till “vanliga media” med “vanligt resultat”. I princip alla av de hundratals kommunikatörer jag pratat med anser att media är tidningar, radio och TV.  Att “omvärlden” är det som framgår av sk “omvärldsbevakningssystem”. Knappt någon av dessa kommunikatörer har försökt sätts sig in i vilka som är deras verkliga opinionsbildare; än mindre försökt att nå dem. Ingen använder blog-sök-tjänster för att få en bild av vad man pratar om som rör dem och deras bransch.

Läs Ed Lee’s utmärkta artikel i

Feb 16 at 4:00 pm by Ed Lee

In my last posting, about the “New” News Release, I alluded to a sea-change in the job descriptions of the flackus desperandi (PR professional). In the past PR was predominantly “media relations” based – sending spam and harassing journalists.

Sure there was some internal communications thrown in, communicating on behalf of the government) communicating to the government (lobbying), investor relations for the financial specialists and physician communication from the healthcare group.

But underneath a raft of very high-level strategic counsel, media relations essentially underpins the business in the same way that media buying underpins the advertising industry.

But social media has changed that on its head.

More “targets”

Firstly, blogging means that the media landscape has exploded. Instead of having a media list of 50-75 journalists to send news releases and “pitches” to; there are now 100s, if not 1000s of people who write about our clients, their brands, their competitors and their industry.

One posting about how a bic pen can pick a bicycle lock can decimate your stock price so if your PR agency doesn’t pick it up as it happens, you’d be well within your rights to can them.

On the flip-side, sending 100 bloggers a bottle of wine can send your winery from a small piece of shelf space to a global microbrand.

The blogging community, especially the community around the brands we represent, is extremely important. The mainstream media is constantly trawling blogs for story ideas. Blogs like Techcrunch are breaking big stories before publications like the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal. All this means the PRs will be judged on the quality of their OPML files, as well as the quality of their business card filled Filofax.

Direct contact with the audience

The second way social media has changed PR is that the public relations industry no longer depends on the media to communicate with their clients’ audiences.

That’s huge.

Social media has nullified the cornerstone of PR, media relations. The old process was to write a news release and get it approved; media train a spokesperson, pitch the media; suffer the pain of rejection and the elation of an actual interview, organize the logistics around the interview, confirm the interview and then accompany your spokesperson to the interview before waiting with baited breath for the article to appear.

Now you can sit a charismatic executive down in front of a WordPress interface or podcasting rig and self-publish all the coverage you want. I’m simplifying things somewhat but that’s the sort of change we’re looking at – here’s a deeper look at getting a podcast started.

The future

However it’s not all doom and gloom for the traditional media. Many corporations, and PR agencies, have been slow to embrace the social media phenomenon. RSS use hasn’t taken off with the launch of IE7 the way people predicted. People are still wary of blogs and very few listen to podcasts.

Today’s PR needs to be a hybrid of media relations tactician, social media doctor (because their fingers are on the pulse…) and brand strategist all rolled into one. That’s not likely to change for a while.

Multi-touch driven computer screen

Jag kan inte låta bli att visa denna video för alla er som inte har sett den förut. Här kan ni se hur Jeff Han och Phil Davidson demonstrerar hur en “multi-touch driven computer screen” kommer att förändra det sätt vi kommer att arbeta, förkovra oss, underhålla oss, osv,  i framtiden. 


Bloggare uttalar sig i SVT

SVT sänder den 14 februrari det alla redan vet och hört angående kommunikatörernas relation till bloggare och deras försök att via dem nå ut med sina produkter och budskap på marknaden.

Se inslaget här:

Läsarna flyr dagstidningarna i USA


Läsarna flyr från dagstidningarna i USA – alla kategorier. Och har gjort så en tid. Åtmintone om man får tro Steven Rattner på Wall Street Journal. En smal tröst för ägarna och publicisterna för dessa tidningar är att läsarna till viss del verkar fly till deras respektive sajter istället. Frågan är hur länge de visar lojalitet för dessa sajter? Innan de väljer alternativa “media”; alternativa sätt för att såväl underhålla som förkovra sig på Internet.

De svenska dagstidningarna verkar generellt sett inte ännu se dessa vikande siffror. Enligt Nordicom på Göteborgs Universitet så är “dagstidningsläsning i befolkningen 9–79 år en genomsnittlig dag endast svagt vikande de senaste 20 åren; ca 84% år 1985 till 81% år 2005.

DN skriver i ekonomidelen den 17 februari att “ befäster ställningen som den största morgontidningssajten i Sverige” med en miljon unika besökare i veckan. Grattis! Återstår att se hur länge detta håller i sig. Och vad DN och övriga dagstidningssajter kommer att göra för att behålla besökarna sett ur en längre perspektiv.

 Red All Over
February 15, 2007; Page A19

The news about newspapers could hardly be more dismal: falling circulation, repeated rounds of layoffs, disappearing ads and a chain of bad earning reports. It’s an unsavory stew of ills, one that shows little prospect of becoming more appetizing.

Many journalists — and having spent the first slice of my career reporting for the New York Times, I still regard myself as one — would prefer to blame the nasty folks in their corporate offices. By this reckoning, it was the layoffs that degraded the quality that cost the readers that led the advertisers to flee that caused more layoffs and so forth.

That smacks of a vicious circle, or perhaps more of a perfect storm that began with the loss of readership. The Washington Post, a model of journalistic excellence, has lost 14% of its circulation since 2000. Across the industry, circulation has been dropping for 20 years, and worse, the pace of decline seems to be accelerating. In the 12 months ending in September of last year, the 50 largest papers lost 3.2% of their daily circulation. Only two newspapers in the top 25 — the two New York tabloids — grew circulation during this period, a statement in itself.

Perhaps most worrisome is the loss of young readers, who have drifted away steadily since the early 1970s, long before there was an Internet, when more than 70% of 18- to 34-year-old Americans read a daily newspaper. Last year that figure stood at 35%.

No doubt, the Internet has tempted some, particularly the young, with a free and timelier product. In September, a record 58 million Americans visited a newspaper Web site, and many newspapers are fighting hard for more with interesting new products, such as by emphasizing local news and providing easier ways for readers to share stories and ideas, a version of viral marketing.

Even though most news sites are free, if all that was happening was a shift from print to online, newspapers could imagine a successful transition since nearly all the marketing, production and distribution costs associated with print would vanish with the presses and trucks.

But regrettably, newspapers face more complex, deeper and considerably more intractable challenges than these theories suggest. The time that Americans spend reading newspapers has been dropping steadily (now down to 15 hours a month), with scant evidence that quality Internet time is taking its place. In September, the average visitor to newspaper Web sites spent only 41.5 minutes per month on those sites, up 10% from the previous year but not nearly enough to make up the loss.

And while the use of newspaper Web sites is growing, the vast preponderance of Americans get their online news through the big portals (AOL, Yahoo, etc.), which means that they are mostly consuming a bland porridge of wire service stories.

Most fundamental is whether the public is still interested in news (as opposed to entertainment, gossip or lifestyle info). More than fearing the death of newspapers — they will struggle on — we ought to fear what changing reading and viewing habits are forcing newspapers to think of as news. We shouldn’t fault the papers for this, however, any more than we should fault the evening news for going soft or the newsweeklies for their endless lifestyle covers or CNN for its hyperventilating over every weather blip. They’re merely providing what their customers are demanding.

Läs Steven Rattners hela artikel i Wall Street Journal: