PR now: PR future

I am sharing the articles below with you as they tell the story of where PR now and PR future.  The articles were written by Ken Makovsky, CEO, Makovsky & Company.  The lesson ... compliments of studio b pr. 

Are we in a battle? You bet. And PR must win.

A recent KPMG survey found that fewer than 30% of ad agencies have a plan in place to leverage social media for their clients. This gap represents a critical competitive advantage that PR firms can’t afford to cede to ad agencies or digital marketers—especially not when we have the stronger claim and the more relevant skill sets.

Social media is all about two-way conversations, not marketing. Conversations—sharing information, developing relationships, and influencing actions—is our mission as PR professionals. For example, one of our clients had been using an ad agency to write its online content. The copy was promotional—fine for advertising, but totally inappropriate for the social media. “Your constituencies have the power of life and death over your company,” we told the client. “You should be talking to them, not at them. It’s not about marketing. It’s about cultivating a dialogue—the province of PR.” The upshot? The client moved the assignment from its advertising agency to us.

Social media management is rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing sectors for PR. Sometimes we sell it separately; sometimes we embed it in a larger program. But there really are no barriers between traditional PR and the social media. We must view them as one seamless communication platform—and convince our clients—or risk losing the war.

PR: opportunity ahead.

The public relations business is on the verge of a major growth explosion, and there are two big reasons why:transparency and social media. And the two are linked.

Indeed social media has caused de facto transparency. There is significant pressure to tell the truth when every individual is a potential publisher in every organization, plus the growing social trend to “confess” via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, companies who hide information will be rapidly found out.

Thus, every company should be undertaking a transparency audit.It is not an option.It’s as important a tool for assessing risk and exposure as a financial audit. If we do it right, we will become almost as vital as accountants. And then we need to implement the tactics that flow from the audit to keep our clients’ reputations intact.

Think of the violators over the past 15 months – such corporate stalwarts as Lehman Brothers, AIG, Bear Stearns, and the Big Three automakers.

We also need to speak out about the need for transparency and the consequences if no action is taken. There have been so many corporate transparency violations where no one in our business is even quoted in the media, which means editors are not thinking of us in the way they should—we need to change that.

We also need to remind our clients and prospects that while product, performance, and price may get you in the door, it takes trust to close the sale and keep the organization’s business vibrant. Building a dialogue, relationships, and trust with our clients’ constituencies will keep both sides honest, which is what is needed to survive in today’s environment.

The lesson: Social media + transparency + great PR strategy and counsel = successful client/company.  If you aren't recommending and implementing social media, transparency or honesty into your client's PR plan, you are planning for failure.  Social media isn't going anywhere; it is PR now: PR future.

Check this out for more on the benefits of honesty and transparency.