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Embrace the disruption June 28, 2013

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.
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I’ve heard a lot of talk about disruption. At the surface, it certainly comes with a negative connotation. But like anything in life, it all depends on how you want to view it.

I’m in New York City enjoying the PRSA 2013 Digital Impact Conference, sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America. The event is intended to help practitioners maximize online and digital programs on behalf of their organizations or clients.

Steve Rubel, chief content strategist at Edelman, really set the tone. He cannot recall the same level of disruptive changes in public relations and media as is taking place over recent months, he told the audience.

Rubel highlighted that very few “mass-reach media” outlets remain, which can make it more challenging to get your message in front of critical mass. But that also presents new opportunities. He discussed the growing phenomenon of paid content—blurring the lines between PR and marketing, or “church and state” as he called it.

“Everyone is getting into everyone else’s businesses,” he said, “so you have to be ready to adapt.”

Of course, most of the disruption comes with the ongoing evolution of social media. Danny Sullivan, founding editor of Marketing Land and Search Engine Land, acknowledged that social media no longer exists on the fringe. “Social media IS media—first-tier media,” he stated.

Think of it this way, The New York Times has much greater reach now with its Facebook page than it does through traditional circulation.

The key to digital impact for those of us in the PR realm is good, original content. Sullivan and many of the other presenters made this clear. Offer unique stories and compelling visuals. And, best of all, social media is usually inexpensive and can provide unlimited reach. The sky’s the limit!

Disruptive changes can be really scary. Trust me when I say I’ve learned a thing or two about that as of late. But with risk comes reward, so shake things up and enjoy the ride.

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