Meet Stowe Boyd. You may already know him — he coined the term “social tools” back in 99′ and today has a strong blog following. I met Stowe earlier this year and have just discovered this video, where he says “PR is dead” . Stowe makes some good points on the changing nature of marketing and PR.
On my previous post The Death of Salemen with “Power to the people” I talked about how the sales process is increasingly changing to consumers (business and retail) listening to each other rather than beliving what salespeople say. In the same way consumers are no longer believing the PR messages sent out by firms. Mass marketing, in particular PR, is increasingly seen as “propaganda”; “lying” and “phony”, says Stowe.
Firms need and have to change. Stowe talks about firms interfacing into or sponsoring existing communities of consumers rather than trying to create new communities. The difficulty is firms often want to own, manage and control communities. This is now very challenging as consumers will go where the conversation is and can/will move easily to a new conversational space. Firms recognise the opportunity for growth with Social Media and the need to change. However they are finding it challenging to find the right voice required to participate in the conversation as I discuss in my post New media channels: Weakness, opportunity or threat?
We are entering a time of change where the old landscape of propaganda PR is dying and a new participatory world of consumers is being born. Stowe refers to the current revolution on the Internet not being matched by the revolution in marketing and “companies will die off if they don’t get it”.