Thursday, May 8, 2008

Old School Efficiency.

Over the last few weeks, I've been stewing on Old PR vs. New PR. A major concept that needs to be reviewed, unless you're already "over it," is that of efficiency in PR.
In old PRthink, standard strategy was picking the collateral item/event/outlet/etc. that would hit the most people. In this way of thinking, here's a sample - 1. People drive cars 2. People watch the Super Bowl 3. Spend millions on a whiz-bang commercial for the big game 4. Said car company crushes the competition. Oops, you had me until 4.
So, where does this thinking go wrong? The world has changed. Markets are micro. Consumers expect to be catered to as individuals. How does this apply to my company? My bosses still sweat over column inches? I'm a non-profit and I am the marketing/PR dept?
Refocusing to this laser method, as opposed to the shotgun PR style, is tough. Chances are that the shotgun method saw some results. But...the laser method has amazing potential. If you're still not sure about all this, answer this question - would you rather have 500 Superfans of your company, or 3000 people who get your newsletter?
(A big nod to Jake McKee for getting me going in this direction.)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Have we forgotten strategy?

Credit for launching this thought today goes completely to Geoff Livingston and his post.
Have we, as PR practitioners and communicators, become too focused on all the cool new tools available to us and forgotten the original mission? Perhaps, but I'll give us a little credit here. There is a sea of tools available out there, and very little public understanding of what they are or why they exist. The digital divide also weighs very heavily into this problem. I'd suspect that you could convince a senior citizen to pick up a Wii controller much easier than opening a Facebook account, for example. I hear the "that stuff is just not for my age group" comment more than I would like. The ugly secret is that "they" would love this stuff if they could get over the initial hump of adoption.
Secondly, I had a friend in my band in high school that used to joke about any topic that came up, "Hey, why don't we write a song about that?" In PR, sometimes we use the same thinking related to writing press releases or mailing newsletters, for instance. In a later post, I'll mention why we need to get in touch with our inner four-year-old and ask "why" more. Why a newsletter? Why a press release? Why a blog? Why? Why? Why?