Are we outdated?



Earlier today, I was people watching while on the train and saw something that I hadn’t in quite some time – a cassette player being used. I thought they were like the dinosaurs, something to be looked at in a museum. Hell, I thought they weren’t made anymore. But there it was, in use by this 35-40 year-old woman enjoying whatever was on the tape. Rewind, fast-forward or play, it didn’t matter that the technology was out dated, it held a use for the lady.

The example got me thinking of the ongoing conversation of PR being a dead or out-of-date industry. While I don’t think the industry as a whole is dead, it is going through a mid-life identity crisis. Much like the 40-something buying a Corvette, the industry is now reestablishing itself as the direct relationship manager and voice to the customer. Sure some in the industry won’t adapt and will keep doing the things that give the industry a bad name; mass pitching, including irrelevant contacts to a media list, etc.

In Spiderman, Peter Parker is told With great power comes great responsibility, in regards to his conundrum between being Spidey and being Peter Parker. The same can hold true for those of us entering the realm of social media. Unlike in the past with traditional PR, we need to be transparent and put ourselves out there. Scary, yes, but at the same time this also means that whether its a client or company, our online persona can and will be tied back to the brand we represent in a positive or negative way. Your words and interactions can help shape the conversation about the brand andĀ  leave a positive vibe with customer X and his followers. Unlike word of mouth, ourĀ  It also means that like it or not, you are technically on 24/7 as a social agent.

In some instances it sucks, but in the here and now Internet age, you need to interact to brush fires as they happen. Plus it is a quick thing to do, for example I check my company’s Facebook fan page and Twitter towards the end of every night to make sure that there is nothing pressing that can’t wait until 9:00 and it takes two minutes max. Plus it’s worth the peace of mind knowing that you won’t come in and see a problem from the night before being circulated among your constituents.

So the question to you is simply this. Are you ready to embrace the way the industry is going or will you be like the cassette player to the woman mentioned earlier?

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