Posted by Amanda Chapel
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
On the heels of the recent Web flap as to whether PR has become synonymous with spam, there's now incontrovertible proof. We've got the proverbial "smoking gun."
In a byline article in the PR trade magazine Bulldog Reporter, the president of the prominent public relations research and evaluation services companies, Delahaye, Mark Weiner said: "Something once considered incredible has happened in public relations. For as long as PR has existed, the Holy Grail has been to quantify the connection between outputs and meaningful business outcomes, such as sales and share-price."
Just so we're clear... Delahaye is a division of Bacon’s Information Inc., one of the world's largest media stalking and press release distribution companies. What Weiner and company said is that they've definitively linked the creation and distribution of manufactured (fake) news with sales and corporate profits. "Through Delahaye," Weiner said, "Clients gain the market intelligence they need to improve effectiveness and return-on-investment."
Unfortunately, for the pioneers of PR's next big thing, the legion of activists currently promoting PR's leadership role in the Web 2.0 craze, Weiner's timing just could NOT be worse. In the last few weeks, all buzz in the PR blogosphere has been "Anti-Social: Is Public Relations Messing Up in the Blogosphere?" by industry journalist Paul Holmes. The indictment is so strong that some PR blog elites have subsequently been quite vocal trying to make it appear that there is no link.
Just last week, Richard Edelman, CEO of the largest independent PR agency in the world and the ringleader behind the Blog Me2Revolution, in an article titled "Fork in the Road," said: "We have to move beyond a position of agent. We are now responsible for the quality of the information and the integrity of the vehicle, because our content may be going directly to audiences. We should offer access to data on both sides of an issue. Content needs to be real."
However, not every one is on the same page. Apparently, not everyone got the memo re: "Blog Messages." In BlogTalkRadio interview last week, Edelman SVP Steve Rubel tipped his hand. Rubel said, "I think 'manipulation' is too strong a word. We're paid to help 'influence' audiences."
Well, Weiner is just the tool for Rubel and his clients. Weiner's article concludes: "The good news is that the same metrics, which the statistical models used to make the 'PR-to-sales' connection through marketing mix modeling and other sophisticated forms of analysis, are now available to everyone — from the world's largest business-to-consumer and business-to-business corporations to your neighborhood's own non-profit."
Okay? Can you say duplicitous? All the way to the bank and back bub.