New York Observer – Publicists Lauded For Flackery; P.R. Gods Get Freedom From Press – Are Blogs The Reason?

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This is a unique take on PR. I worked in the Public Relations space for quite some time and I still spend plenty of time following Steve Rubel and his Micro Persuasion Blog. I think Public Relations has a ton of opportunity in the new world of personal broadcasting and power by leveraging Blogs for corporate communications. I came across the New York Observer magazine article, Publicists Lauded For Flackery; P.R. Gods Get Freedom From Press, via my daily email newsletter from MediaPost.
MediaPost does a brilliant article overview:
“Blogging plays perfectly into the hands of flacks, said Richard W. Edelman, president and chief executive of the public-relations firm that bears his name during a keynote at PR Week’s annual awards show. ‘It used to be I would schmooze you and I was your flack,’ Edelman said. ‘Today, if we want to get a message into the public’s conversation, we just make a post on a blog.’ And why does that strategy work? ‘P.R. plays much better in a world that lacks trust,’ Edelman declared, because people no longer believe in a single source. Readers no longer take what The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal say at face value; they go to several sources to consume different points of view. Edelman said blogging makes it more possible than ever for a PR firm to retort claims made by a news source. ‘If The Wall Street Journal goes after a client, we don’t have to accept that anymore. Let’s post the documents we gave The Journal; let’s show the interviews the newspaper decided not to show.’ It’s an interesting – and not incorrect – assessment of the state of public opinion: the erosion of trust in government, news media, and big corporations plays perfectly into the hands of flack biz. In the new media world truth is completely up for grabs: it’s there to be muddied, subverted or refined by whoever can gain the biggest share of the public’s trust. Therefore, said Edelman, image protection is a ‘discipline on the rise.'”
I’m not sure if Edelman truly believes this or if he’s just listening to the whispers in his ear from Rubel (who is now employed at Edelman).
In the end, let’s just hope that the PR world takes these words seriously, because their client’s customers definitely are.
You can read the full article here: New York Observer – Publicists Lauded For Flackery; P.R. Gods Get Freedom From Press.