PR's Moment of Truth
“Moments of Truth” is a phrase used in the customer service field (from the book of the same name) to describe the indelible feelings you are left with when the brand either delivers on its promises or falls far short. Typically, the latter happens when you get terrible customer service. Although it might be just one person – the customer service rep – who is at fault, the brand is tarnished as a result and the entire company is held responsible.
Today, with the advent of social media, it seems as if the PR field is being thrust on the public stage like never before. People are sharing stories about their PR moments of truth and often the reviews are not glowing. You hear about pitch spam, and about clueless PR people who are hogging the social media “airwaves” and ruining a good thing for everyone. The online world now makes it possible to call out and publicly shame offenders with brutal efficiency.
The reputation of PR is not helped by the fact that many people outside the profession simply do not understand what it is about.
When you think about it, it is simply amazing that we go out there and get the job done every day, considering the many skills that the average PR person who manages accounts is expected to master. He or she must be a word smith; a storyteller; a good conversationalist; a salesperson; a customer support person; a marketing strategist; a manager and resource coordinator; an MC of sorts, to facilitate interviews and press events; and a media specialist.
As more people buzz about PR online, and as online channels proliferate and traditional media retrenches, it is only natural to publicly consider the current role and future of the profession.
Some say that the advent of social media means the death of PR. We disagree, and think that now more than ever companies need communications professionals that understand the rapidly evolving communications landscape. We do, however, need to continue to adapt and grow as a profession. In many ways, this is the PR field’s Moment of Truth.
Many of the roles and skills described above are very applicable to the world of social media. PR has always been more about conversations, storytelling and engagement than other types of marketing. Further, at Fusion, given our tech focus (the tech crowd was amongst the first to jump on the blogging and social media bandwagons) we have been factoring the online world into the PR mix for years now. We feel that one of our differentiators – deep tech expertise that stems from hiring both tech PR pros, marketers and domain experts from industry – positions us for success.
In the coming days I’ll be talking more about some of the ways Fusion PR has changed, and about services that help clients mitigate risks and leverage the many opportunities presented by social media.