One of the great things about this blog is that Rick gets pitched by lots of people and we tend to get some good scoops. Dave Frankland zapped this nice tidbit over to Rick today about Richard Edelman’s keynote at Syndicate 2006. Here’s the really interesting thing … the link to the PRWeek story yielded this:
Edelman keynote at Syndicate touches upon industry changes
NEW YORK: Edelman CEO Richard Edelman, facing an audience at the 2006 Syndicate Conference in New York City that has traditionally been hostile to PR professionals, launched into a discussion of how blogs and other new media are changing the business.
From the PRWeek website … that’s all folks.
Oh man. Man oh man. Edelman, I think, gets the blogosphere, but PRWeek doesn’t. Check out his own blog post on his keynote. He also links to David Weinberger’s live blogging of the keynote (I love live conference blogging … it’s fun, it’s exciting, and it helps get the great messages and quotable quotes out there as soon as the speaker has said them), which I have yet to pour over … but I am looking forward to reading asap.
In Richard Edelman’s post and the snippets I read in the PRWeek article (because Dave forwarded it to Rick), it’s clear the PR folks have to change tactics to adapt to the new communications and media realities. I’m not saying that bloggers are all powerful, what I’m saying is that bloggers can get a message out fast. That message can be good or bad. Things like PRWeek (and other publications) blocking off content behind the walled garden of subscribers only, yeah that doesn’t fly. It especially doesn’t fly when the article blocked is about a luminary of PR talking about how PR professionals have to adapt to the new blogosphere reality. Sheesh. I hope they open this article up to the world, because Edelman really says great stuff.
Let’s take how he described, and apologized for, Robert Scoble’s recent experience with PR people:
Microsoft employee and blogger Robert Scoble, who was scheduled to interview Edelman for the keynote, has experienced a family emergency, which he wrote about on his blog. Despite broadcasting his tragedy, he noted in a follow-up post that he was still receiving PR pitches since he wrote about his family’s situation.
Scoble could not attend, but, sent a question asking why PR people, who presumably value his opinion enough to have read his blog, were still sending him product pitches while he was facing tragedy.
“On behalf the PR field, I apologize to Robert for the misbehavior and tell you that there is a better way,” Edelman said.
“A lot of PR people regard blogs as another form of the mainstream media to be pitched,” Edelman said. “Our methodology has traditionally been to throw out 1,000 flowers and one might bloom. That’s not the way to interact with the blogosphere.”
That’s good, that’s smart. Robert, though, really hits the nail on the head:
But, in today’s world of search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Technorati, Feedster, and others, it just isn’t good to be clued out. â€”Scoble
Edelman also “gets” how blogger love to get sneak peaks at stuff … oh do we love it.
“Our great triumphs are persuading clients to show beta versions of products to bloggers months in advance of actual product launch,” Edelman said. “By the time we started talking to the MSM [mainstream media], we had some momentum.”
That’s totally it. I’ve been apart of a few beta tests recently (Ether for example) where after the beta period (and bloggers are among the testers), we were asked for our feedback and if we wished to be included in press materials. Smart, very smart. Hey, we’re interested in your opinion and would you like to be included in stuff to get you some attention. Hmm, umm, yes!
Richard Edelman knows that the PR world is changing. PR folks can’t just spin and massage the message any more. They have to deal with citizen journalists, bloggers, and just plain everyone. It’s going to take a while before blogger stop getting e-mail pitches out of the blue, but here’s to hoping.