Thursday, October 11, 2007
The future of PR
Richard Edelman at the Forrester's Consumer Forum 2007:
"Move away from master of impression to master of reality."
He quoted Thomas Friedman: "Companies that get their how's wrong won't be able to clean up their mess. ...how to keep your promises, build turst, collaborate, lead."
"Media has to move away from walled garden to sole source to convene and aggregate."
"We have to move away from influence to conversation. From Pyramid of Inlfuence to Sphere of Cross-Information."
-The new role of PR:
1) Convergence around big ideas
- Moving from corporate philantrophy to 'Green is Green'.
- Partnering with Civil Societies
- Addressing social cocerns
2) Listening to new voices
- Consumer Feedback
- Convening Stakeholders
- Empowering employees (Very interesting to see surveys showing that employees of companies are very trusted by people, not the CEO - a discrepancy of more than 30%)
- Engaging local customers
3) Pubic Advocacy
- Creating credible sources of information
- Evolving role of the CEO
- Issues Management
He sees PR as the engine of interactivity: PR should be aspire to be a conversational collaborator.
Edelman had its share of mistakes and mishaps in the social networking area but his perspective was more forward-thinking and innovative than the majority of agency executives.
He ended with the quote: "Know who you are." And you can only know who you are if you listen to people and understand how they see you.