Here we go again. More "death of" remarks... This time from the Economist which, in an otherwise great story on Robert Scoble, ponders if Blogs are the death of traditional public relations. Seems blogs are going to be the death of everything...
Bruce Lowry, PR boss at Novell, another software firm, also wants to get his executives blogging. Boring old press releases—where everybody is constantly resigning “to spend more time with the family” and what not—are totally ill-suited for responding to most PR issues, such as rumours or independent commentary, he says. He can imagine blogs completely replacing press releases within ten years.
Ten years from now? That's what I call hedging ones bets. Many a PR pro is hoping its going to happen lots quicker than that Bruce. And maybe you could drop a note to the SEC asking them if it's OK for blog entries to be regarded in the same light as press releases in terms of fair disclose.
I tend to agree with Schwartz - also quoted in the article:
(Scoble)... thinks that there will always be a place for traditional PR, with its centrally controlled corporate message, alongside the spontaneous cacophony of blogs. Microsoft's official PR boss will not even comment at all on the subject. Sun's Mr Schwartz is also circumspect. “It's not the end of PR but the end of the old PR department,” he says. “The clarifying force will be credibility and reputation.” The truth is, nobody yet knows how corporate blogging will evolve.
The important message is that social networking technologies and participatory communications will force structural change on PR departments. Change in terms of the people required, budget allocation and focal points. And as with all change involving networking technologies, the advantage will go to the first movers.