Friday, December 5, 2008
Is it a publicity stunt or a communication opportunity?
So, I am having a late Friday meeting with a friend/client/colleague at a well known San Antonio bar, when we got to discussing public relations. "So are you good at public relations stunt?" this f/c/c asked.
"No, the truth is that the media knows when you're pulling a publicity stunt," I said. "The media will pick that up. But, if you are someone who is reliable and wants to communicate with them, then you will become someone that can generate some positive publicity."
As I was thinking about the conversation on the drive home through Friday evening traffic, I thought about David Meerman Scott's latest communications effort. David is promoting his latest book, and he came with the concept of a "world wide wave." He asked people through his blog, via his Tweet to contact him about his upcoming book, due out in March.
To some cynics, such an effort could be considered a publicity stunt, except he is using the social media stream, especially Twitter. As someone who follows David's tweets, I saw his post and read his blog.
So, because I trust David, and we have had several online conversations with him, I took the time to contact him with my photo and a request for a poster. It's because I have a relationship with him that I don't think of this as a marketing or publicity stunt. Rather, it's a communications opportunity. Through Twitter, he invited me to take part in something.
I admire him for his concept and the fact that he followed up with an email after I sent him a video clip of me. And, I appreciate the fact that when I blog about him that he takes the time to respond.
While the public relations channels has changed a little, a smart communicator realizes that it's important to have a dialog with a media person. I think that in the course of a couple of minutes that my f/c/c got this concept. Here's hoping that other younger communicators will learn to train their f/c/cs to look at public relations as an opportunity to share information instead of creating a stunt.