Posted by an Honored Guest
Monday, December 10, 2007
As you are aware, there are a growing number of PR practitioners who feel that a fraud's been perpetrated on our industry. This whole PR 2.0 thing is turning out to be nothing more than a modern business version of Werner Erhard's EST.
Here’s the deal: although the business case for implementing PR Social Media programs remains elusive, certain zealots continue to proselytize this stuff like it’s the Second Coming. However, even Web 2.0 experts like Cluetrain Manifesto author David Weinberger say, “NO ONE knows where it’s all going.” That makes the PR 2.0 initiative far more noxious than the typical run-of-the-mill PR pandering. It goes beyond irresponsible consulting. It now makes even our industry's more prolific con artists blush.
LET’S SETTLE THIS: A Call for an Open Debate
For the good of the business, let’s hold a public debate. Here's grist for the mill. Here are the top 10 fallacies being promoted by the PR ESTies:
1. Everybody's doing it so that makes it good;
2. Consumers own the brand;
3. CEO’s should blog;
4. Everyone now is a spokesperson for an organization;
5. Engaging customer directly is the job of PR;
6. Open employee blogging is a universal good business decision;
7. The message cannot be controlled;
8. Brand transparency is a universal good;
9. Authenticity is strictly limited to the literal reflection in a mirror;
10. Dialogue always trumps monologue.
Bravo. Yup. What she said... The business case for most industries – outside some segments of entertainment and consumer goods – is truly thin. At this stage 2.0 is more useful in putting an ear to the ground, rather than trying to use it to move the needle in terms of perception. It’s too fragmented and chaotic to think we can achieve the same kind of specific and uniform results expected from traditional forums and approaches. Some other thoughts....
1) When everybody’s doing it.... it’s called a bubble. Wait for it to pop and then we’ll see clearly where the real value is.
2) Brand = proposition + perception; they get to own their half
3) Most CEOs are clueless about communications and should be kept as far as possible away from a keyboard.
4) Everyone can share his or her opinion, but it’s not the same thing; and employees continually who wander off the reservation should be fired
5) Engaging customers directly is the job of Marketing, it’s PR’s job to clean up their messes
6) Open employee blogging is asking for trouble
7) Kind of agree with this one... even though message can be “controlled” in many respects, it is getting easier and easier to undermine
8) Brand transparency? What the hell is that? Some MBA’s idea of a good thesis project?
9) Authenticity? A six-sigma paradigm-shifting replicant version of message?
10) Dialogue is merely an opportunity for respectful persuasion