One of the things that truly makes our heart sing is hearing bright new ideas. Just recently, we hosted a session with former Edelman PR chief Robert Phillips. His new book 'Trust Me: PR is Dead' is a comprehensive takedown of many established practices and an argument for a new way. The good people at Boilerhouse made a short film so you could learn more.
by Dan Slee
Of course, it was entirely fitting that an event for a book about the power of networks should be held in a venue built by networks.
The event was the originally titled 'Trust Me: PR is Dead... in Brum' and the venue Impact Hub Birmingham which was crowdfunded from the support of more than 500 contributors.
The event looked at leadership and communications in a citizen-centric society and Robert spoke of the route he took to reach the conclusions. You can watch Robert here:
In addition, Robert spoke of what he called 'the seven strategies of we.'
Robert Phillips' Seven Strategies of We'
Embrace chaos as reality. Or in other words, the PR company who say they can control and make sense of things are wrong. They can't. They probably could never have. They certainly can't now with the web and people on it having their own opinions and demanding to be listened to.
Radicalise honesty and transparency. There is no space for spin, Robert rightly says. So sticking to the truth even when its uncomfortable is the only way forward and by doing so bridges are tentatively build.
Build coalitions. It's not just you on you own. It's your network and your network's network. Tap into those and you really start to understand how power and influence work.
Take to the social dancefloor. So, if you are building coalitions one way is through building them using the social web. It may feel awkward at first but by doing it you'll learn the dance moves.
Be the media. Newspapers hate this. They hate the idea that organisations and people have access to the means of production. A blogger can easily have a voice. Anyone can produce content. Make it interesting and shareable and people will love you for it.
Love the citizen crowd. If everyone is the media, eveyone can have a louder voice. If there are louder voices, then there is a louder voice to hold you to account. But this shouldn't be something to fear. Invite them in to help shape what you are doing. Or rather, what you both are doing.
Actions not words. A point well made is that PR has exhausted the well of trust by talking about it as though the word was enough. It's not. If you do good things people will rate you. If you just use the word and don't follow through on the action the chances are they won't.
Our thanks to everyone who came along, to Lorna Prescott for talking about the Impact Hub Birmingham story and to Nick Booth and Eddie Coates-Madden who took part in the panel discussion.
Our massive thanks to Robert Phillips for coming to Birmingham for the event. You can buy a hardback copy here and we suggest you do.
Dan Slee is co-founder of comms2point0.