Thursday, June 28, 2007

Can We Do It? Yes We Can.

In a recent marketing survey in PR Week, I came across an interesting quote. Clark Caywood, professor of integrated marketing communications at Northwestern University, said he’s skeptical as to whether the PR industry can capitalize on the new media that has emerged in the last few years.

Caywood doesn’t believe that the “PR industry will be able to demonstrate some form of thought leadership on blogs, how to measure blogs, or even the integration of video and blogs,” according to the PR Week article.

“To a lot of my friends in PR, [new media] is like another press release vehicle, and that’s not what it’s all about,” said Caywood.

Respectfully, I disagree. Just because new media may not make for an easy ROI formula, does not mean that we underestimate its value or mistake it for another vehicle for distributing press releases.

To the contrary, Furia Rubel and many of our colleagues encourage clients to blog, not just when they have press release-worthy news to report, but when they come across an article and want to comment or share important and relevant information with their target audiences. We also encourage new clients to embrace Myspace, Facebook, YouTube and other social media opportunities when it makes sense to reach their target audiences. Certainly a press release wouldn’t jive with any of those forums.

Perhaps the industry can take this skepticism as a call to arms and rise to the challenge of utilizing new media.

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