Richard Edelman :: From Media to Managing & More…

From PR Week: Q&A: Richard Edelman (Registration Required)

On the Edelman Agency’s release of the sixth annual trust barometer survey:

  • For years, we’ve seen that the traditional pyramid of influence, where you talk to opinion formers at the gentleman’s club, is disintegrating because you have the democratization of media and trust issues with major institutions. This has now come to pass. It means that parts of PR – like employee communications – have become as important as investor relations or talking to The Wall Street Journal. Because if you don’t talk to employees, they’ll talk about their own story.
  • This study also shows very clearly that public relations is ten times as important as advertising when it comes to building corporate reputation. It’s much more credible.
  • It’s the job of the PR person to look more broadly now and realize that NGOs are the fifth estate. They are a serious force, along with the press. There are a few that are irreconcilably against business, but not every one of them is radical. Many of them are willing to be a so-called “loyal opposition.”
  • The (online) dialogue gives you the credibility and the recipient the sense that someone was listening. Blogging is a very big deal. (He has a blog. One of the few truly top PR personas to take the plunge. You’ll note, I hope, that he doesn’t call it the panacea for all ills.)
  • I want them to understand the opportunities here for the PR business. The most credible sources are third-party sites. The need for localization is evident. It’s a clear mandate for our business. That’s the best news. It reinforces everything we’ve been saying about [marketing]. This democratization of information plays to the PR business. It proves the dialogue and relationship part of what we do matters.

And, in his blog – Speak Up– Edelman outlines seven key traits of managing to help assure that “pay for play” and other nefarious tactics do not become accepted as ‘proper practice’ in your firm. At least, this is how he is doing it.

In reference to recent scandals, Edelman notes, “In each of these cases, the fundamental obligation of the professional–to offer unbiased advice and outstanding client service–appears to be sacrificed on the alter of incentive compensation. These problems are only aggravated by problems of rapid growth into far-flung geographies. Here are a few ideas to consider in assuring that quality, not bonus, is the preeminent value of the firm.”

  • Client Relationship Management
  • Culture of the Firm
  • Labor Mobility
  • Financial Integrity
  • Training
  • Community Involvement
  • Incentives

Please read the full post.