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
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, 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. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...