WASHINGTON, DC: While a recent New York Times Magazine cover story hysterically predicted ’the end of the mass market,’ pros were hesitant to say whether the proposed new marketing landscape could mean bigger and better things for PR.
WASHINGTON, DC: While a recent New York Times Magazine cover story
hysterically predicted ’the end of the mass market,’ pros were hesitant
to say whether the proposed new marketing landscape could mean bigger
and better things for PR.
In the article, author Michael Lewis contended that zapping TV
commercials will soon become commonplace. The question, then, becomes
whether a world with less advertising is one that is better for PR.
Lewis sees new technologies such as TiVo and Replay having far-reaching
consequences, as they will allow viewers greater selectivity in TV
In the article, he wrote that TiVo and Replay users - there are
currently about 100,000 - zap nearly nine of 10 commercials, and
predicted that widespread use of such devices will lead to the end of
Lewis, however, tempered his remarks by noting that smart marketing pros
are prepared for the meltdown. Responding to a PRWeek e-mail from Paris,
Lewis conceded that he hadn’t thought about the implications for PR, but
added, ’Since everything else seems to be changing, I don’t see why PR
People in the PR industry, predictably, see a huge window of
’It’s PR’s game to lose,’ said Delahaye Medialink president Katie
What will make PR stand out, she added, is its ability to move small
Agitprop president Amy Krakow said that Lewis’ predictions ’bode well
for PR’ and may even ’bring about new forms of PR and new approaches to
what we do.’ She sees a resurgence in the kind of stunts employed by
publicists like the late Jim Moran, who once put a bull in a china shop
to promote a band.
’Gen-X and Gen-Y see such stunts as ’fun’ and ’guerrilla-ish,’’ she
Krakow also agrees with Lewis’ contention that inserting products into
the storylines of TV shows and films - a tactic employed years ago by
soap opera sponsors - may be in for a comeback.
APCO SVP B.J. Cooper sees PR playing an increasingly large role in
integrated marketing efforts as a result of the media fragmentation that
has already occurred. But Cooper cautioned that commercial TV and
advertising are already survivors, having stared down those who
predicted their demise at the hands of the VCR and the Internet