Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Security Authors: Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Jacob Olcott

Related Topics: Web 2.0

Web 2.0: Blog Post

Is the PR Business Extinct? Yes

The day SEC under the Obama administration answers the question Schwarz asked three years ago, will be the end of PR industry

http://twitter.com/fuatkircaali

The short answer is yes. In our estimation, roughly 70% of today's PR firms with their traditional public relations and communications business structures will not survive the fast-approaching social media avalanche. The remaining 30% that need to reinvent their position real fast in their newly morphed industry will prosper, compared to where they were and what they were doing before.

For publicly traded companies, current rules dictate that information can be made public by a press release or by a telephone conference call but not simply on a website. Ninety percent of today's PR firms are still in business simply because of this single rule.

For the first time three years ago, in 2006, Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz asked the SEC to change this rule. Well, the new White House is already posting the President's weekly addresses to the nation on its website, completely bypassing the traditional media outlets and vehicles.

Today's PR firms are sitting ducks in the way of tomorrow's social media freight train. They will join the extinct species of dinosaurs right about the same time as newspapers and most print magazines.

When we launched Ulitzer's public beta roughly two months ago, our experience with the public relations firms can be categorized under the following three distinct groups.

1) PR firms who jumped at the opportunity and are using the Ulitzer platform on daily basis to post their clients' news and press releases. In this group of public relations firms we generally see traditional news distribution activity. They understand the platform and use it for effective news syndication. This group will eventually discover new and creative ways to utilize new social media tools.

2) Savvy PR firms who sign up their clients as authors and publish their bylined articles in addition to using Ulitzer's powerful news syndication features. These firms are the ones most likely to adapt and survive the fast-changing landscape of the new PR business.

3) PR firms who understand Ulitzer and are horrified by the idea that their clients may actually find out about it. I had a lengthy correspondence with the owner of a Silicon Valley technology PR company who told me he not only wanted to remove the story posted on Ulitzer but also remove it from Google News and other outbound syndicated news sites. This experience made me think that the founder and owner of this well-known public relations company did not even have a clue how the Internet worked. Now, these PR companies will be the first ones that will vanish with the wide acceptance and use of social media platforms such as Ulitzer.

By the way, new social media tools do not mean Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. I am talking about the tools that do not exist yet or are not widely known today. Today's popular platforms will never pass the stage of mass spam tools; their non-existent effectiveness will be proven null before the end of this year.

Companies with the Largest Number of Professional Bloggers Will Win
Tomorrow's (and I mean tomorrow, not the next decade) marketing game will be played on professional corporate blogging platforms. The companies with the largest number of well-read and respected corporate bloggers will win the marketing and propaganda games. Larger companies will need larger armies of corporate bloggers. The new job description of "professional corporate blogger" will be a very popular one.

To be or not to be, that is the question for the PR firms that will hit the wall at this stage. The ones who are equipped to provide those services whose job descriptions are not yet defined will be tomorrow's brave new PR companies.

Other than that, the day the new SEC, under the White House 2.0 Obama administration, answers the question Jonathan Schwartz asked three years ago, will be the end for most PR companies.

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 (7) 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
MarcieCasas 06/08/09 12:21:00 PM EDT

I disagree strongly that PR is extinct. PR will never be extinct for the simple reason that PR is more than just news releases. It is strategic thinking at its best. Yes, social media has changed PR but it will in no way kill it. For any company engaging in social media, it is PR strategy that is driving the interaction. I wrote more about my viewpoint here.

@marciecasas

Loraine Antrim 06/04/09 08:38:01 AM EDT

"Is PR Extinct, Yes." Hmmm. Not the most accurate title. Perhaps more accurate would be, "Is PR Evolving, Yes."

The new order of social media is like any other transformation in our communication process: some organizations will be early adopters, some will come along slowly and some will not make the transition.

PR IS adapting. The number of PR firms understanding the value of new web 2.0 technologies grows daily. Fuat, you had experience with such a small number of firms, it is truly faulty sampling and totally biased. Sorry that this small experience colored your thinking.

One thing I know about PR, no matter what the medium, if the message is relevant and compelling, it will resonate, whether thru more traditional channels or thru newer vehicles. I do believe based on what I have seen in PR, the industry is not only joining the conversation, it will eventually influence it. Loraine Antrim

aaronschoenherr 05/27/09 02:49:00 PM EDT

Full disclosure: I co-manage a national PR firm, Greentarget, that my partner and I started 5 years ago. Obviously I’m biased here because if Kircaali is correct, I’m going to need to find another way to pay for my kids’ college tuition.

I was intrigued with your position here right up until paragraph 5 where you start your pitch on why Ulitzer will change the world. I’ll admit that I wasn’t familiar with Ulitzer until now and will save my comments on the site except to say that it looks and feels exactly the way you’d expect from a site that boasts 6,000 authors.

Your premise, that 90 percent of today’s PR firms are in business simply because SEC rules dictate that publicly traded companies must communicate information via press release, is ridiculous. Firms whose business model depended heavily on earnings releases faded long before 2006. But there are many firms still in existence who have developed strong businesses and brands focused on helping publicly traded companies communicate strategically and effectively with investors, analysts, etc. It’s the difference between a commoditized service (blasting releases out because SEC rules require it) and a strategic one. Pretty simple, really.

Your second premise, that PR firms are “sitting ducks in the way of the social media freight train” is also completely off base. I’ll set aside your ridiculous method for evaluating firms based on their knowledge of and use of your own service, and instead focus on the larger issue. The prevalence and increased use of social media networks has created even stronger demand for public relations firms who are able to advise these clients on effective and credible use of these tools. Social media networks have increased the amount of white noise. They’ve also made it easier for companies to make very public and embarrassing missteps. All of this results in greater demand for a PR firm’s services.

It’s a growth industry for PR firms, not a threat to their livelihood.

Your third premise, that the most successful corporations will be the ones who hire the most professional bloggers, misses the point completely. It’s not about volume and who can broadcast the most, it’s about the quality of the message, whether it’s being received, how it’s being processed and the impact on an organization’s bottom line.

These factors depend on an authentic, credible dialogue initiated by organizations in a targeted, strategic manner that can be measured, evaluated and adapted as necessary. An army of corporate bloggers achieves none of this.

Your rudimentary understanding of the profession has resulted in an article that is full of holes. Am I being harsh? Maybe. I’d argue that the headline you chose for this article warrants a strong response.

While I’m on the topic of authenticity and credibility, the Ulitzer site has a very provocative and interesting quote: “In five years TIME, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, and Condé Nast Traveler will be replaced by Ulitzer.” What’s interesting about this quote is that there’s no attribution. It begs the question “According to who?” This is exactly my point.

By the way, it looks like you could use a PR firm of your own:
http://digg.com/programming/ Sys_Con_Steals_ Content_then_Defames_ and_Libels_ the_Author
Let me know if you’d like some advice on how to handle this. I’m around (despite what your headline might lead people to believe).

Aaron R. Schoenherr
[email protected]

sflachuck 05/27/09 10:53:42 AM EDT

I agree that PR professionals who are not actively engage in social media and new technologies will not survive. I also believe the fall of traditional media will accelerate as well. The communications industry has basically evolved overnight. The greatest challenge for PR firms will be placing value on social media work that has basically over-simplified the business of communication and relationship building. I predict an increase in the need for professionals who can handle crisis matters, public affairs campaigns and issues management since those fall outside of "basic" PR.

DougPoretz 05/27/09 10:06:12 AM EDT

I've been predicting the death of the PR business for a long time -- see my December 2008 predictions for the PR business here: http://tinyurl.com/pegfhd

But at the same time, I think the ad business will also die. I believe the entire communications business is in the midst of a largely misunderstood revolution. But the biggest issue isn't "new media" or technology, or even shrinking budgets, etc. It is the current business model -- my thoughts on that are here: http://tinyurl.com/dk8ked

arthuryann 05/27/09 09:42:07 AM EDT

The public relations industry has been reading about its demise at the hands of social media for about a year and a half now. We've all see what Scoble, Arrington, Calacanis and now, Kircaali (who mistakenly believes that publicity = public relations, while promoting his as the industry-killing app), have said.

The fact is, public relations isn't declining at the hands of social media; it's gaining, and will continue to gain.

Don Wright, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, who is a professor of public relations at Boston College and editor of PRSA's peer-reviewed PR Journal, estimates that approximately 70 percent of all social media programs are being driven by public relations professionals.

Here are 10 reasons why:

1. Social media puts the consumer in control, and public relations professionals are accustomed to operating in an environment that cedes control to others.

2. Public relations has always been about engaging with key audiences to establish mutually beneficial relationships.

3. Public relations is a two-way discipline. It disseminates information about an organization and brings back information for analysis and response.

4. Like all the different forms of traditional media — television, radio, newspaper, magazines — social media is a conduit to engage audiences and build relationships. It's not about the technology, it's about the people who use it.

5. The decline of traditional media is encouraging public relations professionals to identify new means of engaging audiences and "earning" new media.

6. Public relations is a content-creation discipline. The written word, certainly, but also photos, audio and video, which are expected with online engagement.

7. In an environment where information moves at tremendous speed, public relations is one marketing and communications discipline that can keep pace.

8. For a medium built on authenticity and the ability to trust "people like me," public relations is a builder of trust and keeper of the corporate conscious. We speak in a credible voice, while adhering to ethical communications principles.

9. Public relations educators are some of the leading sources of social media research.

As for number 10., I'll just cite Edward R. Murrow, who may have said it best: "The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it."

Arthur Yann is vice president of public relations for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

megfly 05/27/09 09:02:32 AM EDT

Interesting conclusion, I applaud your research. But I believe your PR analysis is missing a key component: strategy. PR firms, at least most successful ones today, are not just about releasing press releases and building relationships with media members. Strategy is one of the best key components to successful PR campaigns.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that On the Avenue Marketing Group, a sales and marketing firm that utilizes events to market and sell products to consumers, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. On the Avenue Marketing Group (OTA) is a sales and marketing firm that utilizes events to market and sell products to consumers. On behalf of our clients, we attend thousands of fairs, festivals, expos, concerts, conferences, and sporting events annually, helping them reach millions of individuals ...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ciqada will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will meet your customers' needs of tomorrow - today! Ciqada. Let your products take flight. For more inform...
Health care systems across the globe are under enormous strain, as facilities reach capacity and costs continue to rise. M2M and the Internet of Things have the potential to transform the industry through connected health solutions that can make care more efficient while reducing costs. In fact, Vodafone's annual M2M Barometer Report forecasts M2M applications rising to 57 percent in health care and life sciences by 2016. Lively is one of Vodafone's health care partners, whose solutions enable older adults to live independent lives while staying connected to loved ones. M2M will continue to gr...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applications - creating more engaging experiences for their customers and boosting collaboration and productiv...
Dave will share his insights on how Internet of Things for Enterprises are transforming and making more productive and efficient operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures in the cleantech industry and beyond. Speaker Bio: Dave Landa is chief operating officer of Cybozu Corp (kintone US). Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dave has been on the forefront of the Cloud revolution driving strategic business development on the executive teams of multiple leading Software as a Services (SaaS) application providers dating back to 2004. Cybozu's kintone.com is a leading global BYOA (Build Your O...
The best mobile applications are augmented by dedicated servers, the Internet and Cloud services. Mobile developers should focus on one thing: writing the next socially disruptive viral app. Thanks to the cloud, they can focus on the overall solution, not the underlying plumbing. From iOS to Android and Windows, developers can leverage cloud services to create a common cross-platform backend to persist user settings, app data, broadcast notifications, run jobs, etc. This session provides a high level technical overview of many cloud services available to mobile app developers, includi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BroadSoft, the leading global provider of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) services to operators worldwide, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BroadSoft is the leading provider of software and services that enable mobile, fixed-line and cable service providers to offer Unified Communications over their Internet Protocol networks. The Company’s core communications platform enables the delivery of a range of enterprise and consumer calling...
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to offer disruptive APIs to developers.
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. He is a Microsoft Regional Director for Hyderabad, India, and one of the f...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
WebRTC is an up-and-coming standard that enables real-time voice and video to be directly embedded into browsers making the browser a primary user interface for communications and collaboration. WebRTC runs in a number of browsers today and is currently supported in over a billion installed browsers globally, across a range of platform OS and devices. Today, organizations that choose to deploy WebRTC applications and use a host machine that supports audio through USB or Bluetooth can use Plantronics products to connect and transit or receive the audio associated with the WebRTC session.
As enterprises move to all-IP networks and cloud-based applications, communications service providers (CSPs) – facing increased competition from over-the-top providers delivering content via the Internet and independently of CSPs – must be able to offer seamless cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions that can scale for small, midsize, and large enterprises, as well as public sector organizations, in order to keep and grow market share. The latest version of Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite gives CSPs the capability to do just that. In addition, its integration ...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @ThingsExpo Blog launched with 7,788 original stories. @ThingsExpo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @ThingsExpo Blog can be bookmarked. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
Wearable technology was dominant at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) , and MWC was no exception to this trend. New versions of favorites, such as the Samsung Gear (three new products were released: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit), shared the limelight with new wearables like Pebble Time Steel (the new premium version of the company’s previously released smartwatch) and the LG Watch Urbane. The most dramatic difference at MWC was an emphasis on presenting wearables as fashion accessories and moving away from the original clunky technology associated with t...