Yesterday I gave a "PR 2.0" presentation to about 40-odd PR pros, of various experience levels. I talked about the Social Media Press Release Template. I talked about "Pitching 2.0." About how the "one-too-many" approach to PR had become a virtuous loop between brands, consumers, and new/old media; about how each stakeholder is now interconnected, and (for the first time) equally impactful.
Many were intrigued and enthused. Some were intrigued but daunted. Some were skeptical. One asked, "Are you sure that this isn't a case of 'ready, shoot, aim' --- will the media 'get' this anytime soon?"
As an agency principal, I admit I'm daunted not only by the amount of time my own staff will require to get up to speed on all this stuff, but also by the amount of time it takes to make & sustain a valuable level of "connectedness." It's probably 3X the work. Will clients see enough value in these new models to boost their retainers? Not by 3X.
On the flip side, I honestly don't know how long it will take for mainstream media to "catch on" to this new paradigm. It very well could be a case of "ready, shoot, aim," into the forseeable future.
But I think that the days of Social Media PR are dawning. I think that if a few innovative agencies effectively execute a few PR 2.0 campaigns --- impressing some influential media via the use of traditional (pitch, relationship, email) and new (del.icio.us, multimedia) tools --- it will create a viral condition. It may take a while, but ultimately journalists will come to expect the higher levels of communication, trust, research, etc., implied by the new approaches.
Hat-tip to Brian Oberkirch at Weblogs Work for the inspiration. He's started a valuable conversation about the challenges agencies are already facing in their embrace (or not) of Social Media.