Two schools of PR practice

I’m about halfway through reading my copy of Naked Conversations: How blogs are changing the way businesses talk with customers,” by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. Anyone involved in communications or PR in the education world would benefit from reading it, particularly if you’re considering diving in to the world of blogging as a way to enhance your organization’s relationship with its audiences. One particularly defining passage in the book, for me:

“. . we see two schools of PR in practice today. One is the incumbent school of ‘command and control.’ This school argues that companies should keep communicating in the same manner and with the same rules that they have always practiced . . . . Some of the smartest in the field are rapidly transitioning from traditional to more conversational practices, creating a new ‘listen and participate’ school of thought in PR. . . . the profession appears to us and many we spoke with to be in upheaval and facing a change-or-perish challenge. . . . we firmly believe that many members of the command-and-control school will soon find their futures will be in the restaurant service industry” (page 100).

Wow. Strong words. Let’s loop back around to them one year from today and see what has indeed happened.

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