A must-read for any PR professional, student, and client from Shel Israel on "what PR must do." More than a few of us older disillusioned sorts would like to have said what Shel says here, but wouldn't have the precise creds or eloquency to do it with Shel's class and style:
Why should the PR professional of today care about the reminiscence of what some old guy did 25 years ago? Because you are in a profession that is at risk. It is at risk because many systems in place don't work. You are at risk because the editors you do know are probably less influential than they used to be, and the ones who don't know you have little interest in hearing from you. You are at risk because your practice has become more expensive for clients even as it has become less effective. You are at risk because PR worked best when a handful of people influenced any market niche, now thousands of people influence it and they are harder to reach and much harder to build an authentic relationship.
There are solutions to this problem, and while I believe the PR industry has entered into a major shakeup, I do not believe that the profession is doomed. But I do believe that the survivors will need to fit into a new model, which is very much like the old model I learned at the old University of Regis McKenna.
PR people need to be facilitators, not mouth pieces and certainly not gatekeepers in suits and nice dresses. I will be writing about this subject in several doses. There is a good deal to say about it.
You got my AMEN, brother!
See Also - Jeneane on:
Ketchum Comes Unclued, 2003.
Bye-Bye BigPR, 2003.