It is now time to welcome the most prolific new reader of the Question Authority Blog: Edelman PR.
Ever since the Zube Affair broke, Edelman PR has been here.
Could they be working with AstraZeneca on decisions such as fire or not fire the Zube, talk to journalists or not talk to journalists (not talk to Ed Silverman), and, what the heck is Peter Rost writing today, and, should we hire him?
Yes they could, would and much more.
How much more?
What does Edelman PR want?
The preeminent PR blogger in the world, Strumpette, knows exactly what Edelman PR wants.
Without further ado, here is what Strumpette has to say about Edelman PR:
Edelman Boasts Boom Times for Grifting
By Amanda Chapel
Thursday, March 15, 2007
First, a little test: Have you ever stolen your neighbor’s newspaper? Do you fudge a little on you taxes? Have you ever bragged about some get-rich-quick stock you just bought but know little about? And lastly, if assigned, could you roll an old lady for her pension money?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, we’ve got a lucrative career for you. According to Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman PR, the largest independent PR firm in the world, these are boom times for grifting.
In a recent blog post, Richard boasted that his firm was doing gangbusters: “We experienced significant growth in the past three years, with revenues up 36%.” He attributes the increase to four key factors:
1. PR practitioners are at the decision makers’ table with other communications
brethren. We are providing counsel on strategic options, not only implementing
media relations programs. As Mich Mathews, senior VP-central marketing group at
Microsoft recently said, "Microsoft's new emphasis on digital means it wants the
'creative, media and pr guys' in the room at the same time when crucial
marketing decisions are being made."
2. We are being engaged on assignments
much earlier in the life cycle because PR is better able to establish a brand’s
credibility. We establish the runway of trust so the advertising plane can take
3. We are able to compete effectively in the world of dispersed media.
We can work even more effectively in new media as we are accustomed to the
dialogue and need for credible sources.
4. We understand the movement toward
a multiple stakeholder world in which new voices, such as NGOs or empowered
employees, are critical to building trust in a company or brand.
1. PR is no longer the organizational news mouthpiece. Today, we are a marketing tool, an anything-goes amorphous fact-unencumbered alternative to advertising.
2. An amorphous contact with individuals at the onset has a much higher potential for success. That is, I know Edelman wants to do me; and he knows that his chances of success are far greater with dinner and a movie first.
3. Our experience with stealth and surreptitious manipulation is unprecedented.
4. We are totally on top of this fractured and disenfranchised business ecosystem. Well, with stuff like the Edelman Trust Barometer, we're uniquely making efforts to appear that way.
A DEAL WITH SATAN
Okay, let's put this into perspective. In plain English: A guy pays another guy to create a pretty billboard ad in the local paper. Couple thousand people read the paper and see the ad. Ad makes certain claims but the public knows it’s an ad. Advertiser knows that if he’s too outrageous in his claim(s), he’ll be laughed at and/or prosecuted.
Okay... then technology changes the medium radically. Not a lot of people read the local paper any more; and being bombarded with so many billboards, those ingenious little geeks designed ways so as the public can circumvent ads altogether. Hmmm. What to do. In order to keep selling stuff to meet his monthly projections, guy needs to create something – a stratagem – that delivers his messages (claims) without an ad's tangibility. Double hmmmm.
Out of the shadows, the guy hears: "Psssst... over here... We can establish the runway of trust in the 'new media' environment. Interested?"
"How much?" asks the first guy.
"I can sell it to you for less than you're paying your ad guy."
"Well Hell... it's a deal!"
By definition, a “grifter” or “confidence man” is “a swindler who exploits the confidence of his victim.” "Confidence tricks exploit human weaknesses like greed, dishonesty, vanity, BUT ALSO virtues like honesty, compassion, or the naivety of believing in the existence of something called 'good faith'."
ADDRESSING GRIFTING'S BAD PR
I know. You've read the above and not only are you less interested in becoming a grifter, the thought makes your skin crawl. Well, we've got you covered.
According to David Brain, President & CEO Edelman Europe, "There's a new Jupiter report that says nearly half of all marketers will use social media next year." To help rationalize his activities, David underscores these key points:
- Users between 18 and 34 visit social networks daily;
- Thirty percent of
frequent social networkers trust their peers’ opinions when making a major
purchase decision, but only 10 percent trust advertisements;
- To capitalize
on social marketing, marketers must harness brand advocates to penetrate social
Hello! It's Jupiter, a professional research company. And they're calling us "brand advocates." It's respectable now... or so it would appear.
Why am I quoting any of this Edelman PR stuff?
-In case they're not reading Strumpette.