So I wrote a book about digital PR but I’m not a social web expert, I know fair bit about it but if my expertise is in anything, it is in PR. Full stop. I worked in PR before the web existed.
The time has come to stop drawing a distinction between on-line and off-line, between digital and analogue. Sometimes it doesn’t matter that much if the message is carried by pixels or ink. The reason that the web, and now mobile is so important is because of the surge in consumption of information via those channels. That doesn’t mean that they exist in isolation. There’s an interesting letter in Campaign this week from Tess Alps about the power of TV (just in the print version I’m afraid) but it almost shouldn’t need saying. Niche channels will never replace broadcast, although the platforms will change as they have always done. We need to integrate channels based on reach, consumption and characteristics.
So if you are in a digital communications expert your days are numbered. It is time for PR agencies and communications businesses of every hue to close their digital departments and reassign their experts. They need to ensure that everybody advising on communications knows about and embraces digital channels. With apologies to Marshall McLuhan but the message is the medium now.