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From PR to Public Engagement: The Opportunity for the Industry

Richard Edelman New Media Academic Summit ŠEdelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Georgetown University | Washington, DC | June 10, 2009

The Hypothesis: From Push to Pull PR’s Opportunity in World of Expression

PR has an enormous opportunity in a world of expression, where authority is dispersed, where trust is created through continuous conversation and established media brands must share attention with blogs or consumer generated content Our challenge is to evolve from pitching to informing from control to credibility from one-off stories to continuing conversations from influencing elites to engaging a new cadre of influencers

ŠEdelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Tectonic Plates Shifting Era of Citizenship

Rise of Activist Government

People expect a relationship with companies/brands

New shareholder with business demands

Change in Behavior

New Influencers

From what you want to what you need

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Loss of trust in authority figures. Rise of employees, ‘average’ person, NGOs

A Play in 3 Acts

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Act I: The Media Revolution Accelerates

Act II: Introducing Public Engagement

Act III: How Public Engagement Works

Act I: The Media Revolution Accelerates

“The newspaper world is suffering from a huge decline in readership. The magazine world has readers but no advertisers. Only the broadcasters are making money by charging a premium for fewer viewers!!” Kyle Pope, Former Executive Editor, Portfolio Magazine

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Dispersion of Authority

Newspaper readership is down 30%

In 2008 in US more people rely on the Internet (40%) for news than rely on newspapers (35%)

79% of all adults are online – for an average of 33 hours per week

People will watch 100 million videos on YouTube today

One in 10 Americans online are now on Twitter

40% of all Americans will end a text message today; 90% of those will be read while billions of emails will be deleted without being opened

People visit 114 domains and visit 2500 web pages each month

ŠEdelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

More Media, Just Different Ones • More media consumption but different mix • Simultaneous use of media (TV and web) by 1/3 of people • Average person now has eight sources of information spending less time on each (Pew study, 2008) • Deep content, narrow focus; not grazing, niche play • Digital pennies replacing print ad dollars; likely to be subscription model for web product ©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.


Web, Mobile and Videogames take share from TV; Behavior Correlated to Age Share of Daily Minutes Across Screen Media

N= 752 Observed Days in Spring and Fall 2008. For additional information, please visit Copyright 2009 The Nielsen Company. Confidential and proprietary. ŠEdelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Impact on Established Media

2 Trends in Newspapers: Major city dailies cut back until hyper-local and national/global papers as in UK

Broadcast loses share to cable

Magazines winnowed to the top brand in each niche

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Impact on Established Media

Wire services—AP, Bloomberg— expand to fill void

Stand-alone niche plays such as Business Insider, Politico, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, BreakingViews

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Advertising Spend Declines Newspapers; Mag & Radio Hardest Hit

Copyright 2009 The Boston Consulting Group. Confidential and proprietary. ŠEdelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Search is King

90% of all web traffic goes through search News aggregation is 63% of all searches

ŠEdelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Social Media is Now Mainstream

ŠEdelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Two Thirds of people online now use social networking or blogging

100M active users. Greatest growth is from people age 35-49

Wikipedia—120M visitors a month

5.5 billion unique video feeds in April; #2 most popular search engine

Twitter grew 1,382% in last 12 months; More than 7M US visitors in Feb.

23% of mobile users in the UK, and 19% in the US visited social network site

Breadth and quality of online video continuing to improve

Copyright 2009 The Boston Consulting Group. Confidential and proprietary. ŠEdelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Implications for PR

Fewer reporters The pitch and catch model eroding

ŠEdelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Different news approach Continual filing, more opinionated, more video and short form content

Mass is dead

Less control of message

Pay for play

More difficult to aggregate audiences

More sources, unpredictable flow of information

Home Depot owns Good Morning America lawn & garden pieces

Act II: Introducing Public Engagement

“It is in the interest of the enterprise to take care of the economic and social environment. To create value for shareholders but also to create value and wealth for customers, employees and regions where the companies operate because our company is an economic and social project.” Frank Riboud, CEO, Danone

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Tenets of Public Engagement •

Action and words—What you actually do is central to the ability to communicate

Integrated into Search—Rethinking content and outreach based on how people think about, talk about and look for the things they need

Engage with Influencers of all Stripes—begins by actively listening

Democratic and Decentralized—digital is social and rewards to those who engage based on community rules

Inform the Conversation—be quick, informal and never deviate from truth and transparency

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Every Company is a Media Company

Omnipresent—When people open the door, we must be there

1. Advisor on Policy

Mutual social responsibility

Private Sector Diplomacy— Engaging with Constituencies

What to Do in stakeholder society

Requires new level of relationship with influencers such as NGOs

Use of research to discern attitudes of new and established influentials

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

2. Search: A Necessity for Us

4 Types: Paid, Optimized, Reputational, Social— PR can play in the last three categories 1.Optimized search focuses on key words. •

Adapt content to include frequently cited terms—use social media press releases

1.Reputational search premised on key word phrases high up in press materials with very literal meanings. Not in general use. •

Prioritize media outreach on basis of who helps on search—eg. TechCrunch better than behind wall

1.Social search depends on content and relationships. There are more searches being conducted inside social networks such as Twitter. •

Engages embassies inside social networks that discuss mutual benefit

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

90% of all web traffic goes through search; News aggregation is 63% of all searches

3. Mobilizing the Influentials and Amplifiers Democratic and Decentralized •

Involve those with connection to company/brand including employees, shareholders, retirees, customers, suppliers, communities

Help people come together in social network with opportunity for consumer generated content and feedback

Influencers are thought starters—work to start conversation

Amplifiers can be bloggers, mainstream media who continue discussion

Key role of analytics – popularity does not equate to influence

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Robert Scoble, Scobleizer

Ashton Kutcher, world’s most popular twitterer, but not the most influential

4. Inform the Conversation

Go to all those who can have credible voices based on passion (frequency of posts or number of links), or expertise (eg. employees)

Go where the people are (their blogs, Facebook, Twitter), don’t expect them to come to you-post on their blogs

Create utility such as Recipe app for iPhone app or recycling widget and offer valuable insight

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

5. Every Company Is a Media Company

Depth of content and objective tone on subjects in company’s sweet spot — J&J Baby Center, P&G, British Airways

Enable access to content that user can repurpose: make them co-creators; then easy to share and update. Use iconic symbols — Frog in, video from Prince of Wales

Make available on range of platforms-all three devices (cell, pc, tv), using best process such as RSS feed, video on demand

Can also win through curating – aggregate the best conversations around given product categories

The future: Don’t just build destination sites to attract to attract users; export social features to all sites as members take social media identities with them as they visit all web sites

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

6. We Must be Present Everywhere

Person needs to see or hear something five times in different places from range of spokespeople before believing it

No longer are stories broken exclusively in mainstream media, then amplified; — Eg. Domino’s pizza crisis

Adapt message and style to forum — Collaboration on Facebook — Entertaining or compelling on YouTube — Customer service and tips on Twitter

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Source: Edelman 2009 Trust Barometer

7. Democratic and Decentralized

• Facilitate re-purposing of Content • Be an aggressor of discussion • Post the good and bad • Enable the “Vox Populi”

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

The Public Engagement Toolkit Open •

Viral Video




Employee/CEO blog

Issue Aggregator

MSM interviews

Pilot Programs

Influencer Roundtable



Open Communication

Open Collaboration


Communication •


Search mktg


CEO Speeches

Controlled Communication

Controlled Collaboration

Controlled ©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Video contests

Social nets

Sponsored content with third parties

Town Halls

Act III: How Public Engagement Works

“What you’re doing speaks so loud, I can’t hear what you’re saying.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Changing Consumer’s Behaviors

Shell FuelSave Driver Challenge •

Inspire one million drivers to save fuel

Show drivers how 10 tips can help them save more than 10% in fuel consumption

Drivers go to their country-specific Shell web site and complete a training module

100,000 fuel voucher incentives for drivers who successfully complete the training

Within the first week – 100,000 drivers were fuel-savers!

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Increase Sales

Wonderbra Viral •

Online community engagement with viral film— “Science of Sexy”—created by Dita Von Teese as the focal point

Surround audience with photos on Flickr, teaser video, microsite and discussion forums

No. 1 video on YouTube in UK at launch (Sept ‘08)

100,000+ photo views on Flickr; 24,000+ impressions on Twitter; 700+ blog posts/conversations on social networks; 100+ stories in offline media

Entire Wonderbra line sold out of retail stores before launch

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

The Science of Sexy by Dita—The full Wonderbra Film

Driving Product Trial among 18-24 males

AXE Detailer goes Facebook •

Shared conversations/experiences around “issue” of “swampy man zone” on Facebook and introduced the Detailer as a solution

Used Facebook in two ways: — Product giveaways based on posts to the Wall — Facebook engagement ads

337% increase in Axe fans in 7 weeks — Continued 8% growth per week

Approx. 20,000 new fans; 80,000 page views; and 40,000 video views

1,800 wall posts

120,000+ engagements beyond clicks


©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Go Where People Are Utility on the Move: Butterball 2008

Mobile texting



provided “turkey tips” to 370,000 moms to access Butterball information anytime, anywhere

mobile game

web chats

generated 40,000,000 page views to playing the Cellufun mobile game

and 50 Mommy

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.


Partnered with Bravo’s top-rated reality “Top Chef” put Butterball Turkey’s as the show’s star

Media: Achieved more than 1 billion media impressions with segments including “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” New York Times, and USA Today

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

©Edelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

10-Year Anniversary Congratulations David Weinberger

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ŠEdelman, 2009. All rights reserved.

Profile for Edelman

From PR to Public Engagement  

PR has an enormous opportunity in a world of expression, where authority is dispersed, where trust is created through continuous conversatio...

From PR to Public Engagement  

PR has an enormous opportunity in a world of expression, where authority is dispersed, where trust is created through continuous conversatio...