Is Silo Busting Hopeless or am I Just Tired? 3 Indications that Resistance is Futile
One of our goals here at commPRO.biz is to reach across the boundaries between the traditional silos of PR, Advertising, Marcom and the rest of the world, as well as between each of those disciplines. We have purposely tried to push boundaries, both here at Social Media Zone and throughout the publication.
Silo busting is hard work, me thinks. From the extended conversations about the definition of PR and the occasional sharp barb from traditionalists about my insistence on social media’s place in the new media world (or my too casual use of grammar and the dangling participle), I find that I go through period of doubt and frustration.
Poor me, right? LOL! I express my feelings only because I am looking to set the stage here. Being an advocate at the front edge of a conversation can be uncomfortable, but I’d be lying to tell you that I don’t live for this stuff.
For all of you who have engage in the honest and vigorous debates, thank you. You help me sharpen my craft. And, for those of you who are quite sure the future holds more of the same and are not buying into the “new” part of new media, here is my retort.
Indication #1 – Falling costs
The cost of many of the functions that advertising and PR agencies have served has plummeted. Paperless systems, digital research, virtual communication and more have made an impact. Online access has caused a shift of costs – not only actual costs, but perceived value of services and what they should cost – that appears to be reshaping the industry.
The lines between functions continue to be fuzzier and fuzzier and, with falling costs, assimilation is near. Call me a crazy outsider, and I confess I am a hammer always looking for a nail, but I see it. Don’t you?
Indication #2 – Extended Reach
Exclusive networks and all the nurtured relationships that most pro’s have created are no longer gated communities ruled by 3 martini lunches and Mad Men style wheeling and dealing. The walls of the silos are weak at best. As copywriting, journalism, and access to interesting information continue to move toward commoditization, justification for the value add of the industry starts to become a bit of a hard sell. Even with my respect for what I do see is of value, not everyone gets it. Confused people are hard to convince and even harder to invoice. Nuance is not easy to sell.
Add in the ability to eliminate the middle man and go direct to the influencers with extended reach and loyal followings, and social media begins to really reshape the landscape. Rocky road ahead, if you ask me. How do you see it?
Indication #3 – Rise of the Crowd and the “Common Citizen”
I completely get that professionals have an upper hand against the Average Joe. They have skills, they have training – they have moves like Jagger. But, I have also seen incredible work coming from supposedly amateur audiences. Being there counts SO much and more eyes on a breaking story or PR development means you might not be tapped to cover it – or comment on it, or critique it, or whatever. Those eyes are the crowd and the common citizen.
If you aren’t out there playing in social fair and square, you won’t be in that crowd and you will be behind the curve. Hear that freight train coming down the track toward you? Yeah, that’s the effect of social media to your relationship with your publics…
I know I can be harsh. Please forgive me. I confess I get tired of arguing about it when so many cultural signs scream out for recognition. It’s not just my fight, but it’s life, coming at us all in full color. Resistance is futile. And, I, for one, are glad for it.
Til next time!
Vicki @Smartwoman Flaugher
[graphic by frankula]