Welcome!

Java Authors: Sematext Blog, Elizabeth White, PagerDuty Blog, Pat Romanski, Jayaram Krishnaswamy

Related Topics: XML, Web 2.0

XML: Blog Post

Will PR Firms Survive The New Media Avalanche?

The new PR game will be played by rock star bloggers on brand new platforms and distribution channels such as Ulitzer

http://twitter.com/fuatkircaali

Last week I received an email from Lindsey Miller at Ragan Communications. I answered her questions for a story she was working on here.

The following is the full text of my reply to her on this subject.

What kinds of PR firm will survive the "fast-approaching new media avalanche"? What steps will firms have to take to ensure that they make it through?

I know a lot of PR firms that are chasing new accounts among publicly traded companies, which are seen as cash cows in the business. I also know a lot of firms whose sales teams are larger than their senior account staff which will actually get the job done. These firms have armies of new college-grad telemarketers spitting out press releases to the media.

For a while you can get away with both approaches. Once the laws, rules and regulations change, the first group of PR firms will disappear overnight as I mentioned in my original blog entry here.

The demise of the second group of firms will come from the social media freight train. PR firms need to catch up with the change.

What will the "new" PR companies look like?

The new PR companies won't be putting out press releases and won't be in the press release business. The PR firm of the future will employ professional bloggers who will use social media tools to get their message into the hands of their targeted audience. The press release business already belongs to the Stone Age. The new PR game will be played by rock star bloggers on brand new platforms and distribution channels such as Ulitzer.

If the rules change for publicly traded companies, will PR firms have more of a chance at surviving?

No

Why do you think social media is so damaging for PR firms? Can't it be helpful as well?

It can be very helpful indeed. But change is painful. As I mentioned in my blog prompting this conversation, the topic goes back to the saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." A large number of PR companies are still living in the Stone Age. Again as I said, I've had exchanges with owners of well-known PR companies who don't even know the basic mechanics of the Internet. How will these people and companies adjust to the change? They haven't a chance. If you can't see the future already, what are your chances to lead the future? None.

Can you give any examples of PR firms who are doing things right already?

I don't know of any PR firm that's waving the flag of the change that we are living through. IMHO all of the existing PR companies are challenged by what's coming up. I don't think there's one company out there that's thrilled to see what's going on. They used to be kings five years ago. Will they be around in another five years? I don't know.

How do you imagine the new social media platforms that you talk about that don't exist yet will work?

Good question. Blogs are relatively new, if you consider the mass of the population. At a cocktail party less than a year ago someone I was talking to from the financial industry (a stockbroker) told me, "You know there is something called a ‘blog' and people who write blogs are called bloggers?" I said yes I know.


Job titles from the future: Steve Adubato "Politcal Analyst & CBS2 Blogger"

Today, the mass of the population knows "blogging" as their Facebook pages, and 99.99% of the blogs being written are never read by anyone except the blogger's family and friends.

This means two things. Not everyone has to write a book, sing, or blog. The ones who have something to say in their blogs will evolve into more professional platforms. The social media platforms that do not exist today will be created to serve the professional community of writers and bloggers.

When radio was invented, it was like the Internet - anyone could talk into a microphone and have their voice heard by the neighbors who owned a radio device. We'll see the consolidation of content on the Internet. The new media platforms will clean out the garbage and the noise and display useful content.

The challenge for PR companies is try to stay above the trash filter with what they produce as content. I can't imagine anyone's favorite pastime is reading press releases. Companies that keep PR firms occupied will also move on to tools and platforms that stay above the Internet's trash filters.

This doesn't mean spamming the world on Twitter, Facebook or whatever. Today's social media tools serve a purpose today and will fade away as things evolve.

Can you think of any examples of sophisticated social media initiatives that companies are pursuing with the currently available social media tools? Is it a waste of time to get involved now?

I don't think it's waste of time or energy. It will turn Facebook or Twitter into a pure spam machine sooner rather than later. If your message isn't interesting, who cares if you Tweet your heart out all day or write graffiti on people's Facebook walls?

Do you believe there's still a need for PR? What about the other functions PR serves, such as crisis communications? Who will handle that?

Sure there will always be need for PR. My point is, if you take the bulk of activities that make up today's PR, a big chunk of the revenue-generating tasks will go away. I don't know what you call the rest; crisis communications is one you mentioned.

Do you have any responses to the comments that appeared below your original post?

We approved all feedback to my post with no edits. I read them all. My comment is: I am not against PR firms. All I'm saying is watch out, there's a big freight train coming.

http://twitter.com/fuatkircaali

More Stories By Fuat Kircaali

Fuat Kircaali is the founder and chairman of SYS-CON Media, Cloud Expo, Inc. and Ulitzer, Inc.

Kircaali came to the United States from Zurich University, Switzerland in 1984 while studying for his PhD, to design computer systems for SH-2G submarine hunter helicopters for the U.S. Navy. He later worked at IBM's IS&CG Headquarters as a market research analyst under Mike Armstrong's leadership, an IBM executive who later ran IBM Europe and AT&T; and Fuat was the Director of Information Systems for UWCC, reporting to CEO Steve Silk (later Hebrew National CEO), one of the top marketing geniuses of the past two decades.

Kircaali founded SYS-CON Media in 1994, a privately held tech media company with sales exceeding $100 million. SYS-CON Media was listed twice by Inc 500 and Deloitte and Touche as one of the fastest-growing companies in North America. Kircaali launched Ulitzer, Inc., a revolutionary "new media" start-up in mid 2009.

Fuat completed Bogazici University Business Administration program in 1982 with a Bachelor's Degree. He was one of 50 students accepted to the program out of over 1 million high school graduates that year.

http://twitter.com/fuatkircaali

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Loraine Antrim 06/19/09 10:25:00 AM EDT

This seems to be a continuation of some of the concepts raised in "Is the PR Business Extinct?" post. And to your point, Fuat, there will be a shoot-out at the PR corral with not everyone surviving.

However, some PR agencies that are small and nimble, with a GenY mindset, are already thriving and gaining ground. Some are creating practices exclusively around social media and are developing and influencing relationships with key bloggers.

Many larger PR firms also have jumped on board the social media train, and have actually been leading the charge through their own blogging efforts, but because they are huge global enterprises, it is harder to have "the social media mindset" permeate throughout their organizations. Pockets and silos, but perhaps not an organization-wide commitment.

I'll put my money on the smaller more agile PR firms who are already creating a presence and influencing the blogosphere and twittersphere. When the avalanche clears out, they will be the ones who walk away as major players. Loraine Antrim

@ThingsExpo Stories
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP and chief architect at BSQUARE Corporation; Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc.; and Andris Gailitis, C...
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.