It’s about ideas, not events

17 Feb

News used to be the currency of public relations. Event-led stories were our speciality (pseudo-events if you like). But it's a dying craft and most practitioners need to move on (and advise their clients accordingly). Here's why news is limited:

  • It has a short shelf-life that's becoming ever shorter in the social media age
  • Neither PR people nor journalists have a monopoly on news any more
  • There are fewer publications taking PR news
  • The conventional press release is treated like spam

If news is no longer our currency, what should be? How about ideas, or content? Note how Edelman has appointed a senior BBC executive as 'chief content officer'.

Content, conversations, communities are what it should be about (Jim Macnamara goes further and lists 8 Cs that count in the current media landscape).

Or to put it a different way, don't be so fixated on getting your news event mentioned that you pass up the opportunity to contribute an ideas-based feature to the same publication.

It's about ideas, not events. Adapt or die!

6 Responses to “It’s about ideas, not events”

  1. Paul Seaman 17/02/2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Once again you’re on the wrong track – social media is not about ideas or events. Social media is all about ME. By that I mean it is narcissistic. In many ways we’ve never lived in a time in which ideas and content matter as little as they do today (I’m talking modern times here). Yes some things are changing – some for the better, some for the worse. But before we can respond intelligently, we first need to see what’s what. Once again I lay down a challenge – let’s debate this (I left a comment on Jim Macnamara’s blog saying much the same thing).

  2. Jeremy Probert 18/02/2010 at 4:48 pm #

    It’s still about news. News is content, content is news. No-one is (in the main) interested in something that’s not new to them. The old adage about the things that make news – sex, celebrity, money, technology, controversy and ‘fluffy bunnies’ – still holds true.
    The press release was always treated like spam, even in the days when they were delivered in cleft sticks by men in loincloths. Why? Because news releases were, are and always will be – in the main – badly targeted and of little relevance to the person receiving them.
    Chief Content officer> The CEO of Joe Bloggs, the clothing company, was known as Chef Underpant Officer – probably apocryphal, although I’d love it to be true. No matter, the point is that it’s not importnt what you’re called, if you’re in communications, your job is to create presence for your clients and their messages.
    Which is why all this conversation, community, content nonsense is exactly that – nonsense. We’re not in the game of creating communities, or conversation, on the offchance that someone might wish to participate, not more are we in the game of creating lovely free content that someone might wish to view.
    We – as communicators – are in the business of selling. Which is why social media doesn’t really work as a commercial marketing or comms tool.

  3. Paul Seaman 18/02/2010 at 7:03 pm #

    Let’s get the debate organised – formally. Blog to blog or face to face or both. Let’s set some guidelines and engage and invite the audience to participate. We can start along the polarised lines I set out in my two previous comments on this blog and let’s see where it takes us.
    Do you have an alternative proposal? Do you say no to this idea? What do you say?

  4. David Phillips 19/02/2010 at 5:34 pm #

    More PR hip shooting I see.
    The empirical research show us that it is about commonly held and and understood values.
    I thought that was what Bruno Amaral showed at Bled.
    His work is not based on counting fairies on a pin head it accesses tens of thousands of discourse items analyses them and identifies relationships.
    It can be about ‘me’ but unless me is part of ‘me and me look alikes’ it will fail.

  5. diksha sethi 11/03/2010 at 8:29 pm #

    As a PR student, your blogs have always inspired me to read and explore more and more about this industry, which i am about to enter in 2 months time. your knowlegde and expertise has been quite useful for some of my projects. my dissertation topic is based on the relationship between media and PR and how social media has made many of the PR practices passe’ and further blurred the lines between these two disciplines.

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