Industry can restore its reputation via social media

Seesmic's Loic Le Meur has been giving a presentation over the last few months, titled, “PR, Advertising and Marketing Suck: Now What.” He also...

Seesmic's Loic Le Meur has been giving a presentation over the last few months, titled, “PR, Advertising and Marketing Suck: Now What.” He also recently summarized his thoughts in a blog post of the same title. In it, he provides his viewpoints, some of which are similar to Jason Calacanis’, given at this time last year, such as, “If your product is good, you don’t need them [PR, marketing, advertising].”

Criticism of our industry isn’t new. It’s generally always been misunderstood and undervalued. The majority of today’s complaints focus on two arenas: media/blogger relations and social media. For example, we’re criticized for not advancing and adapting to “the new world order” of social media and digital marketing.

One suggestion – apart from more complicated and long-term solutions such as complete overhauls of pricing and staffing models – is to use social media/digital marketing to help fix our own industry reputation. It might sound simple enough, but it surprises me how many PR professionals and agencies are either not on, or just beginning to explore, social media communities and digital communications tools.

PR professionals in all industries should embrace social media tools on a daily basis to, as Le Meur states, “create a long term community” for ourselves and our industry, as well as among constituents such as peers, VCs, business leaders, journalists, and others. Beyond making use of these in client work, we have the opportunity to showcase our human side and demonstrate our thinking on a day-to-day basis.

By sharing information in these communities, we can become more than “flacks” with no trust or respect. We can demonstrate how we truly understand the industries that we (or our clients) work with each day.

Show the naysayers why they’re wrong. Get talking – whether it’s on Twitter, a blog, video (Seesmic, YouTube, Vimeo etc.), Facebook, BlogTalk radio, Utterli, etc.

Christine Perkett, founder and president, PerkettPR

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