The New York Times devotes quite a bit of space today to the changing face of PR in Silicon Valley. Not the whole tech sector, mind you. They avoid talking about the outlying areas like, oh, say, Boston, New York, Austin, Seattle, San Diego and the Research Triangle.
Regardless, the piece breathlessly follows PR execs who, shock of shocks, pitch people other than the A-list "journalists" such as the Times itself, Forbes, Fortune, BusinessWeek, etc. Instead, the PR folks pitch bloggers and social media influencers.
Instead, [Publicist Brooke Hammerling] decides that she will “whisper in the ears” of Silicon Valley’s Who’s Who — the entrepreneurs behind tech’s hottest start-ups, including Jay Adelson, the chief executive of Digg; Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter; and Jason Calacanis, the founder of Mahalo.So nice that the Times is now only 2 years behind.
Notably, none are journalists.
This is the new world of promoting start-ups in Silicon Valley, where the lines between journalists and everyone else are blurring and the number of followers a pundit has on Twitter is sometimes viewed as more important than old metrics like the circulation of a newspaper.
The fact is, the new PR needs to be about creating content, not just pushing it.
In all, the story paints a picture of PR that's straight out of Sex in the City. Attractive women partying up a storm and hobnobbing with the who's who of influencers. It also talks about measurement in terms of followers and number of Twitter mentions, but gives short shrift to metrics such as "traffic driven" or "conversion rates."
In all, the view of PR portrayed in the piece is still about pitching and about having other people tell your story, but less focused on creating a story built on your own content.
There is so much more to do in the trenches, even here in the hinterlands.