I remember when that dinosaur MySpace had parents reeling from seeing their hardware-pierced teens show and tell all on the worldwide web. You would think these deeply disturbing exposes would have mobilized moms and dads against the digital freedom fighters to render the netherworld of MySpace a shriveled up version of the Wicked Witch of the West, with virtue making a big comeback. Alas, the universe had other plans… a far superior, G-rated phenomenon called Facebook took toddlers, teens, parents, grandparents, friends and coworkers on a liking spree half way around the globe.
But those likes quickly became commodities, monetizing and advertising multi-media messages. Social media turned public relations on its ear. Hits and features were replaced by likes and fans, and thought leaders were made from Klout, not essays in a trade pub. It’s just no fun for us old fart public relations peeps. I recall the days when text in a newspaper print story was all the rage… when journalists, although they still thought of us as a necessary evil, at least had a phone number — and you could find it in an obvious place on a website! And occasionally they even answered your call – from a telephone on an office desk! Crazy I know!
Now journalists have to report, write, produce, upload, storify, glorify, tweet, dig, post, blog and Pin up their own stories. Talk about no respect. Who has time to pee let alone answer my oh so carefully crafted email pitches, complete with the most compelling story angles, stats, links and video clips all packed into 50 words. Can’t they at least commend my brevity?!
Still, cracking the code, finding that hidden jewel of a news hook, landing an interview for a client, and a story that not only makes a client’s day but actually has some value for the audience. Getting tweeted, posted and trended is nice too. That’s still where the juice is for this PR gal… and in the words of Fred Astaire (talk about great old farts…), They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”