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Pogue on Web 2.0 and PR

Pogue on Web 2.0 and PR

By: Bob Geller, SVP, Fusion PR

Tech PR people covering the consumer arena should be very familiar with NY Times gadget writer David Pogue.

He wrote yesterday (‘Are You Taking Advantage of Web 2.0?‘) about how Web 2.0 related technologies can put a human face on companies. By empowering employees to blog about their work, for example, companies move from being faceless, bottom-line driven entities to be seen as organizations with real people with real stories.

He cited his own experiences with the NY Times blog as an example, and pointed out that simply by moderating comments you can vanquish the concerns some have about losing control of the dialog and drawing fire and flames.

According to Pogue:

Now then. We all know, intellectually, that no matter what image a corporation tries to project, it’s made up of ordinary people with personalities, insecurities and lives. But because the marketing and P.R. teams work so hard to scrub, control and package a company’s image, the public ordinarily sees none of that human side.

When a company embraces the possibilities of Web 2.0, though, it makes contact with its public in a more casual, less sanitized way that, as a result, is accepted with much less cynicism. Web 2.0 offers a direct, more trusted line of communications than anything that came before it.

Perhaps a bit of a broadside at PR, or at least “PR as usual” – and these are themes I have blogged about in detail on Fusion Forum and Flack’s Revenge blog.

But then, it was great to hear such a well known tech reporter speak out on the topic.

PR at large can become part of the problem or we can offer solutions – Web 2.0 savvy PR pros are counseling clients on how to deal with the challenges of Web 2.0 and take advantage of the opportunities.

  • Suzanne McGee

    March 28, 2008 at 12:29 pm Reply

    There is definitely more value to including additional voices at the Web 2.0 table. That being said there does need to be some filter, not for style or language, but perhaps information. Not everyone is familiar with what can be distributed to the public and what can’t. Each company has to find a good balance of official news and employee voices. As more and more “Facebookers” enter the workforce, everyone has to find a way to work within the Web 2.0 structure.

  • Bennett Baruch

    March 28, 2008 at 1:15 pm Reply

    Currently, we live in a world of immediacy where responses to challenges and crises need action. A company that has the ability/capability to react through a Web 2.0 portal is one that is better equipped. Employees that understand how this new medium works are extremely valuable.

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