Saturday, January 29, 2005

PR is dead, says Blogger; Sky is falling, says Chicken

PR is dead, according to Linda Zimmer at ZnetLady:ModernMediaModo: PR is dead. Long live MC.

Writes ZnetLady, "PR was dead. Ketchum just did the requiem."

Ms. Zimmer, like all of us in PR and PR bloggers in particular, was set off first by Ketchum's role in buying columnists for the Bush administration; second, by Jay Rosen's blog castigating PR bloggers for not rushing to the barricades and setting everything on fire.

If you're not part of our microcosm, please do check out PressThink for this particular post. Everything you’ve read how blogs feed and feed and feed upon each other can be witnessed here.

For the most part, Rosen’s argument has no merit. His post, “Bloggers Are Missing in Action as Ketchum Tests the Conscience of PR,” is discounted by all who commented and quickly disproved here—Jay Rosen versus PR Bloggers, by Marc Snyder.

But back to Ms. Zimmer contention that PR is dead.

She writes, “Let 'PR' pass from this world peacefully. Don’t try to re-brand it or mange its reputation. The function is needed (even by those who denigrate it) – but the perception has crippled it beyond repair.”

I for one will not go gently into that good night.

We are wounded, yes, but we’re far from dead.

Perceptions can be changed. Reputations can be repaired. This is what we do, right?

That is, unless, like the physicians that can’t heal themselves, we are also incapable of consulting to our own.

Once the headlines have faded, the bloggers have moved on, history will view PR people as hairdressers with bad haircuts--we've just been too busy to attend to our own upkeep. (See Ketchum PR: Dumb-Ass Branding -- And A Blown Opportunity at Redemption.)

Still, we're not quite dead yet.