PR 2.0 Defined

Updated - 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 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.