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They think it’s all over

I’ve just returned to the office from the PR Week ‘PR and New Media’ one-day conference downstairs in our media centre. The afternoon sessions were fascinating, particularly the final panel session as five leading lights in interactive media shared their (Mc)nuggets of information with a hungry PR-heavy crowd.

Following a slight hold-up for fire alarm related excitement, a quick trip to the muster station behind the Tate Britain (it was a lovely day outside), a cup of tea and a scone, we got back to it.

Here are a few tasters:

Richard Burton, editor of Telegraph.co.uk commented that the national papers today "have more platforms than St Pancras" and is still "very fertile ground for PR people". He also made the point that, while the online versions of the newspapers used to be considered "a spin-off", savvy PR types have realised that the web is far better value for longevity of content and reach.

Peter Birch, head of interactive at ITV strongly defended his red (interactive) button – with some goading from the rest of the panel. He didn’t do himself many favours with the phrase "a seamless one-stop-shop". But then he slipped in the fact that 78 million people voted on ITV’s reality show portfolio in 2005 and that his division made £35 million net profit in the same year. At that point, people sat up and took notice.

Paul Miller, a senior consultant from Romeike provided, in my view, one of the quotes of the day. "Kneejerking into creating your own blog is a very, very dangerous reaction," he said. "Many people think this is cheap. It’s not. Creating compelling content on an ongoing basis is an expensive thing to do." He also pointed out that blogging is often not what changes perception of a business – it’s the effect blogging has on search results that do it. It made me start to wonder what would happen if Google put the blog search function on its homepage…


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