Brian Solis: How to Fix PR

Apparently, I ticked off some PR folks (or least ruffled their feathers) in my recent post where I chimed in after Guy Kawasaki and Dave McClure on what’s wrong with PR. Steve, Mike, and others chimed into this interesting conversation. (over 100 people linked to Guy’s original post)

For the record, I wasn’t trying to make anyone uncomfortable, but I simply wanted point out what I’ve learned in my experience on what will work in this new age where the community has taken control. Read carefully, I was demonstrating what the changes are, and the impacts that the web has had on agencies that have NOT adapted. If you are a PR pro that has adapted, then you have my complete support and that post was not written about your firm.

Brian Solis provides 12 reasons on how to fix the issues that were complained about, I recently talked to him on the phone, and I know he spent an incredible amount of time thinking the issue over, it’s a must read.

Here’s a summary of Brian’s suggesitons:

1 – Understand first, what PR is and isn’t.
2 – Don’t under value PR.
3 – PR is not a switch.
4 – In most cases, coverage doesn’t just happen.
5 – Just because you created the product doesn’t mean you’re the best person to sell it.
6 – Understand that PR is only an umbrella for the specific communications initiatives that will help you reach complementary, simultaneous goals.
7 – No matter what industry you’re in, realize that the most popular blogs, newspapers, or magazines are only one part of the process.
8 – Engage in social media. We live in a “social” economy and the only way to succeed in it, is to participate.
9 – Support your PR program and feed it as you do any other branch of the company.
10 – If you find a PR person that truly lives and breathes the company and the product, never let them go. They are a rare breed and deserve support and promotion.
11 – Meet with your PR team regularly to communicate realistic goals and measure progress.
12 – Agree upon metrics in advance.

Thanks Brian, you’ve really added some quality points and ‘how-tos’ that have added additional points to the conversation. Andy Lark has some excellent reasons why PR does work, worth a read.

Update: Apparently nothing I said was new as Shel says this is the Annual Bashing of PR.

  • DaveU

    Why did the PR guy cross the road? So he would have something to tell people about.

    Granted, that’s a lame joke, but it’s also a useful illustration.

    #13 – Agree in advance to avoid any PR activity that smacks of busy work or PR for PR’s own sake. When there’s nothing to say, saying nothing is better than attempting to manufacture publicity without having anything of substance to say.

    We’ve moved beyond the days when any press was by definition a good thing. PR teams need to realize that, and so do the people measuring their productivity.

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

    Thanks DaveU

    Agreed, quality over brand buzz. Adding to your thoughts, the challenge for PR is that the trust factor can be low. (see above post from shel that I linked to). I know the savvy pros will overcome this.

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