Welcome!

Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, PR.com Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: 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
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Cybersecurity is a critical component of software development in many industries including medical devices. However, code is not always written to be robust or secure from the unknown or the unexpected. This gap can make medical devices susceptible to cybersecurity attacks ranging from compromised personal health information to life-sustaining treatment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Fortney, Software Engineer at Battelle, will discuss how programming oversight using key methods can incre...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...