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PR is Dead? That’s News to Us

In a recent article in O’Dwyers Communications & New Media magazine, a review appeared about Robert Phillips’ book, Trust Me, PR is Dead. While I think that the terms “PR” and “public relations” should be retired, because few people, even those who are buying the service, understand what it means, it does characterize the channels of communications that many of us successfully practice and whose results we are able to quantify for clients.

Mr. Phillips’ claim that PR is dead isn’t factually correct, because most practitioners know that PR has, instead, undergone a most-welcome evolution. Publicists, for example, have more new media in which to place their messages than ever before. New-media stories can be just as, or more influential than what turns up in magazines, newspapers, print and on electronic media. In the realm of travel publicity, for instance, over 50 percent of today’s travelers book their travel online, which provides payoffs to the publicist placing stories on influential websites and blogs. It serves to demonstrate that travel stories appearing online do generate measurable results.

It was a pleasure to see a rejoinder to Phillips’ claim that PR is dead, by Kathy Cripps, president of the PR Council, who writes: “Whether a firm is helping clients to create dialogue in social communities, engendering trust with their audiences, or moving people to action, it’s PR and it’s never been more relevant.”