PR Campaigns – The blog

September 26, 2008

Ease of PR on the Net Hurting Independent Thought and Creativity

Filed under: Iris Public Relations — kristarogers @ 12:09 pm

     It is no secret that advances in technology have made our world a smaller place. The internet obviously allows for quick dissemination of information, easy access to various forms of media and the ability to interact with people across the world from the comfort of your own home. It has quite literally changed the face of media. There are an overwhelming number of websites dedicated to social networking, business networking and other tools to help people save time, cut corners and ease their work load. Necessity begets innovation, right? But where do you draw the line? At which point is laziness the driving force behind the innovation?  

     Kevin boldly abandons his “digital age” generation and ascertains in his blog, “Are PR Tools Bad Form?” that maybe it has gone too far and the numerous public relations tools now offered on the internet are impeding upon the creativity, originality and independent thought process once required by the media.  These tools are all blessings,” Kevin says, “But don’t let their ease of use, powerful capabilities and impressive efficiencies tempt you into taking short cuts with things like critical thinking.” At this point public relations is fighting for its life. The ability for anyone to access millions of people has given the general public the notion that anyone can “do” public relations and these tools are just proponents of that idea.  

     Kevin mentions Linked-In and Facebook as examples of networking but also points out the mindless-traps people involved in sites like this could fall in to. Instead of sending “cookie cutter” emails, or “friend” requests, try something that takes a little more brain power. Kevin makes a good point by sort of echoing the “old school” business mentality. “Take 10 more seconds to write someone a personal note. Those 10 seconds will make a big impact. So many people take the short cut it’s not really helping them.”  He finishes by saying “Work smart(er), think hard(er). Eschew shortcuts that are really creativity cuts.” A philosophy I am sure no one would disagree with. 






  1. Just a couple of notes:
    – Kevin who? Give the blogger’s full name or pseudonym, so people can clearly identify the author even without clicking the link;

    – check the definition of “ascertain”: I’m pretty sure that’s not the word you want in that sentence.

    Great subject for a post!

    Comment by drgilpin — September 26, 2008 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  2. The problem I see with the explosion of social networking and the thought that this can somehow replace PR professionals is that, for the most part, it seems that many of these sites are counter-productive. In another post, there’s an example about a disgruntled customer causing problems for Uhaul by posting on Twitter. This is why we need PR people. Just because the technology is there, doesn’t mean that people are using it to their advantage.

    Comment by asbrooks04 — September 28, 2008 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  3. The PR field is simply evolving like every other field with the internet becoming more predominant. The best thing for PR professionals to do is to learn how to use the internet to their advantage. Yes, technology has made everyone more lazy, I for one can barely spell without spell check, but that doesn’t mean that anyone can effectively practice PR. There is still a certain training and thought process that only trained PR people can bring.

    Comment by ccharvey — September 29, 2008 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

  4. A good PR professional will take the extra time to personalize his or her approach. Those that don’t won’t be that successful in this competitive, crowded field. Internet technology is a tool. Like all tools, it needs a capable human being to guide it in the right direction.

    Comment by mara2009 — September 29, 2008 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  5. The explosion of the Internet and all the valuable tools and resources that come with it, is a blessing in disguise. While most of us would not be able to function or perform our jobs without the use of the Internet, it does unfortunately serve as a gateway to laziness. Typically PR specialists utlize online tools to perform research, make contacts and arrange interviews, but a hand written note inviting a client to coffee or lunch would inevitably stand out. Although the benefits of the Internet outweigh the drawbacks, it is still important to remember the personal communication touches we can use to deliver a message more effectively than an e-mail or online friend request.

    Comment by letsgoblogging — September 29, 2008 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

  6. My mom has always believed that the Internet is ruining communication, and now-a-days people have trouble talking with people on the phone or face to face, and I completely agree. I find myself sending messages to my friends instead of calling them. Or sometimes I am too scared to talk to someone so I send then an e-mail instead because that way I dont have to look into their eyes and see their emotion. As PR students and soon to be PR professionals it is imperative for us to know how to communicate with people face to face or even on the phone so we can at least hear the emotion in the persons voice. While a lot of our communication will still be done via the Internet, we need to be able to be comfortable with personal communication, because it will always be needed, and we can not be scared of it.

    Comment by dfishfel — September 29, 2008 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

  7. While its not my favorite tactic to use social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace as PR tools, I do agree that PR professionals need to know how to use them. While it is easy to be lazy using these sites, there is also room for creativity, especially with all the new advances in technology and new sites being created everyday. I think sites like Twitter can be used effectively, especially in the way that Dell has been improving its customer service, since any problems can be addressed almost as quickly as they were put out.

    Comment by kakeane — September 30, 2008 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

  8. I definitely think that social networking sites and the world’s growing technology are both positives negatives in the world of PR. While it makes for easy communication, it is definitely lacking thorough thought and consideration as an e-mail might, as you stated. Facebook in particular is a great source to connect to friends and colleagues but it is often times the easy way out. Instead of sending a thought-filled e-mail or even letter, it takes one swift click of a button to “poke,” “friend,” or “comment” on someone’s life. I think it’s important especially as professionals to consider these tools as additives to other methods of communication. Send a thorough letter and then converse through a networking site, don’t allow that site to be the only communication path.

    Comment by bkranz — September 30, 2008 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

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