Book sparks PR debate

WASHINGTON, DC: PR pros have taken to the Internet over the last few weeks to weigh in on an increasingly caustic debate about the profession’s role in the e-centric business climate.

WASHINGTON, DC: PR pros have taken to the Internet over the last few weeks to weigh in on an increasingly caustic debate about the profession’s role in the e-centric business climate.

WASHINGTON, DC: PR pros have taken to the Internet over the last

few weeks to weigh in on an increasingly caustic debate about the

profession’s role in the e-centric business climate.



The back-and-forth dialogue, which can be found on the Netpreneur

Organization Ad-Marketing listserv, was sparked by a new book, The

Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business As Usual, by Christopher Locke,

Rick Levine, Doc Searles and David Weinberger.



The authors are currently making their way around the country discussing

their theories about emerging communication markets, which they refer to

as ’conversations.’



The question posed to the listserv group was, ’If markets are

conversations, what is the role of PR?’ To this, Weinberger responded,

’Traditionally, PR has been part of business’ attempt to control the

conversation’ by distributing messages which painted companies in a

positive light.



But Weinberger also suggested that, thanks to the explosion of the

Internet, PR has a lesser role to play in future conversations. He

believes the way PR people can stay vital is by becoming corporate

storytellers.



’The very best PR people have always been the ones who have great

conversations with the press: honest, knowledgeable, willing to admit

ignorance, easy to laugh with,’ Weinberger wrote.



To view the ongoing debate, go to netpreneur.org and enter the

Ad-Marketing LISTERV. Excerpts from the book can be read at

www.cluetrain.com.



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