How B2B PR will fail in 2011

We’re three days into 2011 and I’m already seriously concerned about the shape B2B PR will be in by 2012.

The number of reporters is shrinking at an alarming rate. Marketing silos are collapsing, which means PR budget and activities are under significant “synergistic” threat. Audiences seem most responsive to a gritty, natural marketing approach and attention spans are at an all time low.

Simply put, it’s not an easy time to be in the “awareness” business.

Now, here are the current products that PR believes will solve the problems of a changing environment:  Bylined articles. Social media. Newspaper quotes. Trade shows. Media pitches. Press releases.  TV appearances. Messaging.

How long do we think these will truly meet the evolving needs of reporters and our clients’ targets?

The age-old business model of the Public Relations industry is at risk. (And no, the answer is not social media. That’s a wonderful channel that can help your company grow in 2012, but it’s not enough.)

We need to become content marketers. The good ones, such as Kristina Halvorson and Joe Pulizzi, do two simple tasks incredibly well:

  1. Identify, extract and develop great ideas
  2. Determine how best to package and distribute the ideas

I hope you noticed that these are skills that almost every good PR professional already possesses. But it’s time to evolve our capabilities – and our “products.”

Our product is now content. Here’s what PR content is becoming:

Take a careful look at that list. How many of these elements are in your planned 2011 PR programs? Can you afford a lack of experience with these products?

Perhaps more importantly, can you afford another year of thinking of yourself as just a traditional PR professional?

To reach Elizabeth:

Phone: 212.840.0017
Twitter: @elizabethsosnow
LinkedIn: Elizabeth Sosnow