There is a very interesting piece by Grant Cardone on the Huffington Post. It has a compelling title: Do PR Firms Make Sense Anymore?
According to the article, Mr. Cardone has had some disappointing results using PR agencies over the years. Not knowing the background of what the objectives and goals were, what the strategy was or how the agencies approached the work, I don’t have the information to comment on that component of his article. But it is never a pleasant experience for anyone when you don’t achieve success.
As to whether PR firms make sense anymore, I believe they do and we have a roster of excellent, happy clients to back that up. I spend 60 hours a week supporting the belief that not only do PR firms make sense, that we are a strong asset to an organization. However, the world has changed drastically and as PR professionals we have had to change as well.
Sending out news releases to a mass distribution list, thinking that all we need to do is put information out there and “they will come” is outdated thinking. It’s no longer about pushing out the message, it’s about joining the conversation, it’s about engaging the person, the people, the group or the community in an authentic, mutually beneficial conversation that allows for honest feedback. It’s about understanding who your client wants to connect with, how they see the world, how they want to be communicated with and how to engage this person or group and provide value to them. In some ways, it is incredibly simple and yet great PR can be complex. It’s not an easy job, but when done well, it is an incredibly interesting and rewarding one.
At the end of the article, Mr. Cardone says that perhaps by writing this piece, perhaps an aggressive, well-connected PR firm will find him. I think that he would be better off to connect with a proactive, strategic PR firm. An agency that will take the time to understand his objectives, define and identify his community, and will create a solid plan that opens an ongoing conversation. Perhaps I should send him an email.