Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Friday, October 06, 2006

From Control to Conversation: Publicis Group PR chairman Lou Capozzi talks about the shift from an age of controlled communication to a new age of conversation, which has been one of the themes of the conference already, and makes a compelling case for public relations to take a lead role in that change. Since he just got elected ICCO president, it's a presentation he'll get to make with some regularity next year, hopefully in front of clients rather than just other PR agency people.

Paul Taaffe of Hill & Knowlton, provides a lively counterpoint. He doesn't disagree with Lou, but he does question whether any public relations firm -- his own included -- is ready to step up to the challenge of driving conversations, and doing so in a media neutral way.

My own perspective is that there is a huge opportunity. PR people should be used to dialogue (they answer questions from skeptical journalists every day), to earning attention rather than paying for it, for reaching out to multiple stakeholders, to using a wide array of channels rather than a single communications vehicle -- all the characteristics of this new environment.

But never underestimate the ability of the PR industry to squander a great opportunity.

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