People Respond: The New PR

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by: David Armano

What do Dell, Aol, Comcast, Coke, and Ford all have in common?  Each has experienced first hand the effect of a new kind of “PR cycle” driven by immediate response (depicted here). 

This is a type of PR that hasn't traditionally existed until recent years—and is gaining momentum in a big way.  So Dell launches a blog—who would even notice this in the “good old days”?  In the old way, Dell would have done their thing and maybe sent out a press release.  If they were lucky, they would have had a few news organizations pick up the story and maybe get a letter to the editor.  But in today’s wired world, Dell’s blog has been one of the most talked about events in both traditional media and blogs where uncensored discussion happened almost immediately after.  And let's not even get into the exploding laptop etc which only added more fuel to the fire so to speak .

And of course we can't forget AOL or Comcast, where in each case a “Power Consumer” armed with a recording device and social media technology was able to draw immediate attention to their story.  Each caught the attention of the mainstream press early on. So are we looking at a new kind of PR?  One where bloggers and mainstream media feed off of each other?  How will companies choose to deal with instant feedback, criticism, dialogue and debate?  Seems like the PR Pandora has left the box and isn’t going to be put back any time soon.

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