For those of us PR types who didn’t quite manage to get to Davos this year, Richard Edelman (of the eponymous big PR mob fame) provides his take on his shoulder-rubbing and flesh-pressing experiences. Three of Richard’s points particularly interested me…the first is that CEO’s must, must step more readily into public discourse (according to a former editor of the Financial Times Richard Lambert). Well, when it helps them hit their principal (often operational & monetary) KPIs, I say, possibly, they will. The second saw McKinsey partner Ian Davis, assert; “You cannot think about shareholder value without considering stakeholders. Any business that wants to endure must have trust and agreement of society for legitimacy.” Hmmmmm, IMHO many, many orgs pay lip service to this notion, Ian. And finally, Rich E made mention of the ‘Conundrum of Media’, deciding that distribution – not content – was now king. Ricardo noted the rise of free, CGM and user preferences for ‘live’ continually updated materials. For me, this is where I see a longer-term opportunity for PRs (representing organisations)…good (meaningful/relevant/useful) content is in rare supply and is sure to shine among a surfeit of shallow shit – we in PR are best placed to produce more credible content.
Ta for the field report Richard.
Following a long line of public figures who have deployed kids to try and win the sympathy vote in public opinion – think UK’s John ‘Mad Cow’ Gummer and Aussies Matt Brown, Andrew Bartlett and John Hewson – thugby player Greg Bird recently arrived at court dragging his little brother (maybe about 5yrs old?) through a media scrum. His sister also ported their other baby brother to try keeping media snappers at bay. Accused of ‘glassing’ his American girlfriend’s face with a wine glass, Bird’s media advisers (lawyers or PR people we wonder?) clearly felt he needed to soften his image as this sports PR disaster unfolds. Bird’s girlfriend suffered cuts and a fractured eye socket after allegedly being hit in the face with a glass wielded by Bird himself. He denies the assault and blamed a pro-golfer mate.
Ever fond of hoary old sayings this weather, I’ll bastardise another; “character isn’t revealed when things are going well, but how you behave when things are going badly”. Greg from an older PR pro; ditch the entourage and the media manipulation. Face these allegations directly, with integrity and, if appropriate, with contrition. That’s the only way to bring this unseemly PR disaster to a close, and rebuild your much tarnished reputation.
Over on his blog, Richard Edelman generously shares some of the most compelling new insights from a recent bigwig conflab about social media (ta Richard):
1) Media must become comfortable with the economics of fragmentation
2) Advertising will be the primary revenue source for media, not subscriptions
3) News will become the supporting element to products and services
4) Major disconnects as newsrooms continue to separate digital and print products
5) The skill set for journalists must evolve
6) Evolution towards an open dialogue model
7) Content is still king and mainstream media amplifies new media content
Social media requires a continuing dialogue
9) Blogs are not universally popular; bulletin boards and mobile work too