Friday, July 10, 2009

out of the loop

Are journalists being left out of the loop when it comes to PR? That's what Claire Cain Miller suggests in a cover story in Sunday's New York Times business section. Thanks to social media, publicists and pr folks are bypassing reporters altogether, using facebook, twitter and influential blogs to get the word out -- and letting reporters come to them.

Probably a good thing for journalism: leaves the shrinking real estate in newspapers and on newsites -- and the work of their shrinking staffs -- for real news.

On the other hand, as publicity becomes a DIY project, at least for start-ups, does it mean a whole new sector of communication grads will be destined for pink slips? Or a whole new job description that includes words like tweet, friend and digg?

From the story:

In response to dissatisfied clients and huge shifts in the media landscape, a new breed of publicist is emerging, says Brian D. Solis, a P.R. guy who writes a blog called PR 2.0. His firm, FutureWorks, has a broad definition of “writer,” a category that includes those in mainstream media as well as the tens of thousands of bloggers and Twitter users who have developed avid followings by writing about niche topics.

“Mommy bloggers are the new TechCrunch; they’re such an influential crowd,” Mr. Solis says.

Instead of calculating the impressions an article gets by estimating a publication’s circulation and pass-along rate, Mr. Solis counts the number of people who tweeted about a company and their combined following, the number of retweets or clicks on links, as well as traffic from Facebook and other social networks.

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