PR 2.0 Defined

Update – 2014

In 2007, I first shared a definition of PR 2.0 when I launched my blog. The definition focused on social media’s media role in PR 2.0, which was used to reach, collaborate and better communicate with bloggers / new influencers, media and consumer audiences directly. Social media is a peer-to-peer approach that allows the public to drive their communications in their desired web communities. When originally defined, PR 2.0 highlighted how PR professionals were beginning to incorporate PR 2.0 into their strategy and planning as an effective way to communicate directly. PR 2.0 became a part of our PR practices to raise awareness, build relationships, create and maintain a positive image, and increase overall brand exposure.

Today, whether it’s PR 1.0, 2.0 or even those who discuss 3.0, it will always be PR. We are experiencing new opportunities as social technology has uncovered expanded roles and responsibilities for professionals. Working in the field of PR today allows you to take a new approach to communications from the inside out. Social media changes the way we plan, work and develop communication, with a different mix of media, and ultimately how we deliver meaningful content and engage with the public to drive valuable outcomes for a business. The dissemination of information is two-way, transparent and collaborative where brands, by listening and being active in the conversations, can deliver more relevant information and be valuable resources.

In PR, we’re focused on customized and more targeted communication to build stronger mutually beneficial relationships that lead to deeper engagement, resulting in loyalty and advocacy.

2007 Definition

PR 2.0

PR 2.0 uses a combination of social media tools that are available to communications professionals to reach and better communicate with influencers and consumer audiences directly. Social media is a direct-to-consumer approach that allows audiences to drive the communication in their communities. PR professionals are beginning to incorporate PR 2.0 into their strategy and planning as an effective way to communicate directly to Web 2.0 audiences, to raise awareness and increase overall brand exposure.

Brian Solis started promoting the PR 2.0 concept in the 90s and it was specific to how PR, multimedia, and the web would intersect and create new breed of PR/Web marketers. He’s been talking PR 2.0 for almost 10 years. As a matter of fact, PR 2.0 actually started long before the birth of the Social Media Release (SMR). The SMR has been supported and pushed by many influencers, including Tom Foremski’s public outcry for the death of the traditional press releases.

Tom Foremski, a former Financial Times writer, wrote an article in the Silicon Valley Watcher titled, “Die! Press Release! Die! Die! Die!” Foremski’s dramatic call to action demanded changes to the traditional news release. It was this call to action that started a revolutionary transformation.

It was Todd Defren who offered the first template and still remains an authoritative champion; Chris Heuer helped lead an effort to propose a standard for their construction and distribution; Stowe Boyd reminds disingenuous, lazy or opportunistic PR people that they’re not invited to participate in Social Media (and rightfully so); Shel Holtz hosted the original NMRcast, and continues to demonstrate the value of new releases; and Shannon Whitley’s
work helps PR “get it;” along with many others who continue to carry the flag forward.

Solis joined Heuer from the onset of the “Working Group” and has since spent most of his free time defending the reasons for the existence of SMRs in blog posts and at conferences, while also carefully practicing what he preaches.

Today, social media tools are accessible to brands large and small to reach audiences who want to control their own communication. In a Web 2.0 world, where thousands of communities are built, the traditional methods of web communication are not suitable. Web 2.0 technology combined with an audience’s desire to build and share content has transformed our industry. As a result, PR professionals are incorporating Web 2.0 resources into their brand’s PR strategy and planning for more targeted and impactful Web communication.


  1. PR 2.0 Strategies : Deirdre Breakenridge » PRSA International Conference, PR Pros Embrace Social Media
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    […] of the discussions I had surfaced around PR 2.0.  Being in the Marketwire booth was a natural fit for this discussion.  Marketwire is a very […]

  2. PR 2.0 Strategies : Deirdre Breakenridge » PR 2.0 Tools & Resources
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    […] to my PR managers, today’ top two PR 2.0 tools are PitchEngine, which is a social networking site that connects PR professionals, bloggers […]

  3. PR 2.0 Strategies : Deirdre Breakenridge » Changing Roles & Responsibilities
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    […] and web procedures in a typical day have radically changed as a result of social media and PR 2.0.  So, if I were to go into more detail for Amanda or anyone else who’s interested in the details […]

  4. PR Evolution » Blog Archive » PR of the Past vs. PR 2.0 Today
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  5. Public Relation(ship)s « Moving 4 Word
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    […] This principle also applies to PR professionals. In their book, Putting the Public Back in Public Relations (PPBPR), Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge, suggest that PR professionals have failed to understand and listen to their audiences, thus turning PR into a one-way communication stream in which professionals talk at an uninterested public. However, Web 2.0, with its vital social networks and long tail of organizations and niche markets, warrants the development of a public-centered PR, or PR 2.0. […]

  6. Up and Atom. « The stacks: finding that place
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    […] Essentially, don’t stress. Social media is a simple concept but can seem overwhelming because there are SO many applications that connect you with an even larger number of people. Isn’t that an opportunity? If you could get your foot in the door with the world, why not? Get on board. Better yet, get ahead. You never know, you could become the next social media guru. […]

  7. Gretchen Gary's Blog » Web 2.0, PR 2.0 and the Ever Changing State of Communications
    May 5, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

    […] that thought leaders in the states were also pioneering a new approach to public relations with PR 2.0. While I was already using online PR distribution tools, I was totally out of the loop on how to […]

  8. Notes on a Career « Adam P. Coulter's Blog
    May 20, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

    […] to be embarking on a career of public relations and the unprecedented opportunities stemming from PR 2.0 inspire […]

  9. Remote Monitor
    January 11, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    Very Good Stuff…

    We are loving the story!…

  10. Digital PR 2.0 Content Marketing Service for Business & Leisure Tourism
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    […] tmf dialogue marketing and its sister company Piranha Presse will be able to offer a unique PR 2.0 & content marketing service to help their clients in MICE, tourism and destination […]

  11. PR 2.0 – Social Media « Chapel PR and Marketing Ltd.
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    […] it or not, the term PR 2.0 has been around for about 15 years.  Brian Solis of Deirdre Breakenridge started promoting the […]

  12. Eight for Demos | Culture & Social Media Technologies
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    […] they have more agency, more say in what a brand’s voice and persona will be. Thus, in promoting PR 2.0 as “required” of communication professionals, Breakenbridge is able to meet the needs of the […]

  13. The Fine Arts: PR 2.0 | printerest
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    […] 2.0 can be described as the use of social media tools for business’s to gain better access to their publics and […]

  14. Women in PR: Deirdre Breakenridge
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    […] PRSA, Empire Today and the World Bank successfully through the theory of PR 2.0. As defined on her personal blog, “PR 2.0 uses a combination of social media tools that are available to communications […]

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