Is Social Media Killing PR? (Or Maybe Vice Versa?)
Last night, BoomTown was at the Horn Group offices in San Francisco to appear on a panel called “Is Social Media Killing PR?”
Focused on the “future of the media ecosystem,” it was moderated by Media Survey’s Sam Whitmore. Besides me, the other panelists were the Horn Group’s Susan Etlinger and Jeremiah Owyang, a Web strategist with Forrester Research.
The panel topic was inspired by recent blog rants by Jason Calacanis, Robert Scoble and Michael Arrington, all of whom have taken potshots at the PR industry as unnecessary or broken in the new social media order.
Of course, as was the intent, their pieces caused a teapot-tempest in the sector, although I said at the start of the panel that I was not so sure that PR folks should bite at this particular bait from a trio of bloggers well known for liking to start controversial debates.
In any case, it was a good discussion to a packed audience about what the implications of social media are for the PR business–essentially, fewer press releases and more Twitters!
My take was that as much as things have changed, little actually has and that social media were not going to turn a weak pitch into a strong one.
All that counted a decade ago were good products and solid start-ups–and that is all that still counts today.
And, in fact, with all the social tools PR folks now have, it is easier than ever for them and companies to go right around the gatekeepers of the media directly to customers.
Here’s a short video I did at the event: