09 Mar It’s only lazy people that WISH traditional PR were dead
A decade ago I sat in meeting after meeting in Silicon Valley hearing about the new economy and how the ‘old school’ IT companies were dead. It’s so funny to me now, listening to all the social media experts and Web 2.0 pundits say that ‘traditional PR is dead.’ I venture to say that lazy people hope by saying traditional PR is dead, maybe they can make it so. After all it’s a whole lot easier to sit in your jammies and tweet and facebook the night away than it is to call Patty Neger at Good Morning America to find out if she likes the latest book you’ve sent her. Believe me, I would much rather be trading snarky barbs with folks like @CLE84 than getting rejected for yet another story idea by a crusty print reporter.
Social media, bloggers, news sites….these media types are gaining influence by the minute it’s true. But until they start to generate millions of impressions within four minutes there’s no way they will ever replace traditional media. I would argue that new media is just as important and in many cases can lead to mainstream media…but don’t believe anybody that tells you they’re sustaining national media attention without a traditional PR strategy. I’ll never forget the hotshot social media expert at last fall’s Inbound Marketing Summit who told the audiencethat PR agencies were obsolete and a worthless waste of money. At the same time he had one of the biggest NY public relations firms on a huge retainer. (Thanks John Cass for the tip!)
Just like like in the heyday of the dot com bubble, people tend to think that great technology can alleviate the need to do the basics…and it never will. No matter how many Twitter followers you have, or Facebook fans, or how many places that Foursquare has made you the mayor of…you’re still going to have to pick up the phone and make a pitch to seal the deal. Sorry folks, there’s no way around it.