Perhaps it might be to steer well clear of the hurly-burly of the online world; to continue to give its attention to old media - the editors and reporters on dead-tree publications. Or maybe it’s time to extend ‘media training’ for clients beyond answering questions in interviews with bona-fide, card-carrying press and into the realms of blogs, Twitters and ‘friends’ policies in online social networks? Some would argue that it’s time to abandon the idea of controlling the message entirely and spend more time encouraging the conversation.
Because the online world often combines business and personal worlds - our flickr accounts, for example, are likely to carry both pictures from the products launch as well as holiday snaps - conflicts seem almost inevitable. What business have you - a client might feasibly say - in judging what I say on my own personal blog?
Clients have entered the wild. Their views and communications are unmediated and unfiltered for anyone to see, for better or worse. And they seem to like it there. Is your job to tame, to capture or to go native yourselves?
Roger Warner (chair) is a director of Squiz.net, a company that helps organisations work with its own open-source content management system. So what’s he doing on a panel about PR? Roger has over ten years of corporate communications experience, including spells as head of web development at Airbus and PR Director for IBM Europe.
Sarah Ogden is MD of Sussex-based PR firm Midnight Communications, first PR consultancy in the UK to specialise in digital media.