Is Public Relations A Game?

by Jay Deragon on 02/26/2009

In an earlier post titled “Has the Rules of The Game Changed” we said “When a game rules changes every old method has to change. The thinking which created the old rules has to change if your team intends on playing in a new game and on the new field. Rules dictate how we think and subsequently how we act or react. I once drove on the autobahn where there is no speed limit. I had purposely rented an expensive sports car and couldn’t wait to “get on the road”. When I started out my mind initially thought about the old paradigms of driving fast. The mental messages included “watch out for patrol cars, keep your eye on the speedometer” etc etc.

The game of Public Relations should be to keep your eye on the market, the customer, people who are interested in great things that enhance their lives. All this “social stuff” enables people and institutions to “keep their eye on the game” by listening and understand the conversational threads of the market. Certainly one would think that any good PR professional would consider all this “social stuff” as strategically important and valuable to gain a deeper understanding of the markets needs and wants. But are they?

Robert Scoble writes: What Do the Freaking Tech Bloggers Want?

“Over the past few days there’s been a consternation about the future of PR. Mostly based on my rant about PR the other day and how it’s so refreshing to hear about a new company from its users first, especially when those users are very excited about the product.”

  1. PR people had gotten wise to how to get their stories onto Techmeme
  2. Company after company came to us who weren’t building sustainable businesses that cared about real customers.
  3. Bloggers are being commoditized
  4. We aren’t having fun
  5. We’re all looking for a breakthrough idea or product and they are just very rare.

In the early days of blogging I wanted to do a few things:

  1. Impress Dave Winer and Dori Smith.
  2. Get stuff into Google so I could pull it out later.
  3. Share what I was seeing because I had access to unique people and technology that the mainstream press wasn’t writing about. Today I still write for these reasons, but I’d add on some more:
  4. Get more people access to interesting experiences. It’simpossible to have 100,000 people visit Facebook’s headquarters and have a tour, for instance, but it’s very possible to have that many participate in a live cell phone tour.
  5. Help us get more out of the technology that we’re all seeing. There are about 800 services on the Office 2.0 database. How many of those have you actually used? For most people? None. For most of my readers? I’d guess about five. Out of 800. So, can I increase that to seven? By showing you a demo of something that would improve your life (and mine?) I know I’m using Evernote now because of a demo I got a few weeks ago, for instance.
  6. Learn from thought leaders on how to improve our lives. That’s why I’ve had people like David Allen and Tim Ferriss and why I want to get Gina Trapani from Lifehacker onto my shows. They show you a different way to live and how to deal with our changing lives

The he Notes: What are Some Things that you Tech Blogger Types want from PR?”

  1. What we really want is an exclusive interview with Steve Jobs.
  2. I want to see some passion about building a great service for customers that solves their pain.
  3. If you really have a killer product and a killer service I don’t care how you get ahold of me.
  4. Don’t call us (especially me) if you want to get on TechMeme and that’s your main goal.
  5. For those of us who are on the TechMeme game we MUST be in the first group.
  6. Don’t just pitch the product.
  7. Video bloggers need different things than text bloggers
  8. Why don’t you get a ton of FriendFeed’ers to vote up your own blog?
  9. Build experiences where we can get to know you

Earlier we wrote: Which Brands Frustrate You?

If the customer is constantly frustrated with a product or service that typically reflects that the employees of an organization are frustrated as well. Frustration is a noise that points to systemic problems with an organizations design, culture, leadership and management.

Denying there is a problem, avoiding problems or deflecting blame to someone or something else is not going to cure reoccurring problems. Where there is ongoing frustration there are strained relationships. Strained relations deteriorate your brand equity and ultimately your market.

Frustration comes when people say they’ll do something then they do not follow through. Frustrations come from the disappointment in a lack of response, sincere concern and related lack of actions. The business of every business is connecting people, producing media and enabling communications. It would seem logical to focus on the critical attributes which enhance those value propositions. If on the other hand a business views itself differently than the customer views it then its relationship with the market is disconnected.

The game of PR is indeed changing and the vocie of the customer is getting louder. If you don’t change your methods then the collective voices will only begin to scream, one to one to millions. Get it?

What say you?


JDeragon March 1, 2009 at 10:40 am

“When a game rules changes every old method has to change.”

JDeragon February 26, 2009 at 6:11 am

Is Public Relations A Game?: In an earlier post titled “Has the Rules of The Game Changed” we said &..

prblogs February 26, 2009 at 5:47 am

RelationshipEcon: Is Public Relations A Game?: In an earlier post titled “Has the Rules o..

Eyal Rofe August 15, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Profile Relations – This is the name of the new game.

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