So The Cluetrain Manifesto is ten years old.
Much has changed since 1999 (blogs and other forms of social media have made the web a much more conversational space). But it remains an important polemic against most marketing and PR practices. These haven't changed fast enough.
Take the standard computer-industry press release (the authors write). With few exceptions, it describes an "announcement" that was not made, for a product that was not available, quoting people who never said anything, for distribution to a list of people who mostly consider it trash.
Is there any hope for PR?
But, of course, the best of the people in PR … understand that they aren’t censors, they’re the company’s best conversationalists. Their job — their craft — is to discern stories the market actually wants to hear, to help journalists write stories that tell the truth, to bring people into conversation rather than protect them from it. Indeed, already some companies are building sites that give journalists comprehensive, unfiltered information about the industry, including unedited material from their competitors. In the age of the Web where hype blows up in your face and spin gets taken as an insult, the real work of PR will be more important than ever.
It still needs saying, so The Cluetrain Manifesto still needs reading.