Most PR folks don’t read blogs and certainly don’t understand them. All they see is a Google alert with their clients name, and rush to put out a fire. Down the road they may try to bring those bloggers into the fold, largely relying on word of mouth as to the best way to approach them in lieu of actually reading the blog itself.
Michael, something seems to missing from your paragraph. Oh yeah, this: citations.
Let this be said. It is my opinion that the tech bloggers (who assume that because they get poorly targeted pitches, the industry is doomed) have virtually no clue about the health of the PR market. They are informed by their own experiences, but they could sooner predict the fall of man than accurately diagnose this industry [CITATION UNNECESSARY DUE TO HYPERBOLE]. If you are so concerned about the future of PR, you should probably look to people like Harris Diamond, David Senay, Paul Taaffe. If you see them saying cautionary things, then you should be worried. If you see the bright young stars of the PR profession bailing on the industry, then you should be worried.
Anyway, as is often the case with these “I get bad pitches, so the entire industry is lost” memes, some smart commentary follows. That’s a good thing. After the jump, there are some you may have seen.
I think I have the answer, or at least observations from my recent interactions with PR folks. They’re serving as connectors to the businesses that employ them, it seems, as well as to the journalists they use to propagate their message. Instead of being sent press releases by public relations folks, I’m receiving friendly emails and phone calls letting me know about upcoming interesting tidbits of news, and increasingly I’m striking up conversations of a friendly nature that often have very little to do with what sort new thing their client may be doing.
The fact is that social media is ONE part of public relations. A SMALL part, if you are a good PR person or firm. The other parts are traditional media (while it might be shrinking, it still reaches that middle part of the country), analyst relations, events, and more.
Good PR agents work with companies well before a product launch and help them develop a coherent explanation of their technology. Developers are sometimes wonkish, executives long-winded and few people in the world can describe what they are doing as clearly as a trained professional bringing a fresh pair of eyes can.