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12 November 2010

Page history last edited by Richard Bailey 13 years, 5 months ago

PR and marcoms: looking to the future

Richard Bailey, Leeds Metropolitan University (www.prstudies.com)
Public Relations and New Media, 2 February 2011


The Cluetrain Manifesto (1999/2009)



Page xiv

1. Markets are conversations

2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.

Page xvi

26.  Public relations does not relate to the public. Companies are deeply afraid of their markets.

39. The community of discourse is the market.

Page xix

74. We are immune to advertising. Just forget it.


Revised view

  • Markets are conversations
  • Markets are also transactions
  • Markets are also relationships

(2009 p9-22)



We were 'basically right, but not entirely. Beyond the triumphalist overstatements (Thesis 74: "We are immune to advertising. Just forget it."), which at least had a rhetorical purpose, we were wrong about how long it was going to take to throw the rascal out.'

(2009 p 54)


The original text

'So, if markets are conversations (they are) and there's no market for messages (there isn't), what's marketing-as-usual to do? Own the conversations? Keep the conversations on message? Turn up the volume until it drowns out the market? Compete with the new conversations?'

(2009 p159)


'So what becomes of marketing? How do companies enter into the global conversation? How do they find their own voice? Can they? How do they wean themselves from messaging? What happens to 


  • PR
  • advertising
  • marketing communications
  • pricing
  • positioning

...and the rest of the marketing arsenal?

Excellent questions.'

(2009 p160)


On public relations

 'Everyone - including many PR people - senses that something is deeply phony about the profession. And it's not hard to see what it is. Take the standard computer-industry press release. With few exceptions, it describes an "announcement" that was not made, for a product that was not available, quoting people who never said anything, for distribution to a list of people who mostly consider it trash.'

(2009 p160)


'But, of course, the best PR people are not PR Types at all. They understand that they aren't censors, they're the company's best conversationalists. Their job - their craft - is to discern stories the market actually wants to hear, to help journalists write stories that tell the truth, to bring people into conversation rather than protect them from it. Indeed, already some companies are building sites that give journalists comprehensive, unfiltered information about the industry, including unedited material from their competitors. In the age of the Web where hype blows up in your face and spin gets taken as an insult, the real work of PR will be more important than ever.'

(2009 p162)


The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR (2002)


'You can't launch a new brand with advertising because advertising has no credibility. It's the self-serving voice of a company anxious to make a sale.

You can launch new brands only with publicity or public relations (PR). PR allows you to tell your story indirectly through third-party outlets, primarily the media.'

(2002 xi)


'All the recent marketing successes have been PR successes, not advertising successes. To name a few: Starbucks, The Body Shop, Amazon.com, Yahoo!, eBay, Palm, Google, Linus [sic], PlayStation, Harry Potter, Botox, Red Bull, Microsoft, Intel, and BlackBerry.'

(2002 p xvi)


Crowd Surfing (2008)

'We are not 'open source' evangelists, who argue that the only way to work is by collaborating with the crowd, nor do we believe that all communication has to involve an open dialogue. All of the evidence indicates that collaborative business cultures are likely to be more successful, and that dialogue tends to be more effective than monologue, but the reality of running a business or political party is that you can't always surf the crowd. Equally, the success of Apple, under the self-proclaimed control freak Steve Jobs, provides us with a cautionary tale of how ignoring demands for open and sustained dialogue does not necessarily damage a business's performance.'

(2008 p7)


'It sounds so deceptively simple - 'be interesting' - but these two words should be adopted as a mantra by every wannabe crowd surfer. As with interesting people, interesting companies are the ones that are admired and talked about. Interesting companies have opinions and are not afraid to voice them.'

(2008 p 150)


'Interesting businesses such as Unilever, Innocent, IKEA, 42 Below and JetBlue keep the crowd engaged and involved by always being interesting.. and benefiting from a virtuous circle in which the more interesting they become, the more likely they are to attract interesting people with interesting ideas, to recruit the most interesting employees, to be written about in the most interesting media and talked about on the most interesting blogs. They save millions of pounds on advertising because they can rely on positive world of mouth to maintain their profile. Now that's interesting.'

(2008 p 151)


Martin Thomas presentation (2010)



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