‘Open advocacy’ must replace spin — Edelman

At the opening session of Edelman’s New Media Academic Summit Richard Edelman told PR professors and others that social media enable us to embrace the concept of “open advocacy.”

He added, “PR cannot progress progress if it’s categorized as ‘spin.’ We need to disavow this kind of behavior. While PR people cannot and should not claim to be impartial,” he said, “we can be transparent, so contentions (about our clients) can be examined by the public at large.”

Fortune magazine’s David Kirkpatrick quizzed Richard about his firm’s missteps involving WalMart. Edelman called the WalMart RV tour a “learning experience for all of us that shows we still have a long way to go. We’re out in front (on uses of social media), and periodically, we’re gonna stumble.”

While Richard spoke specifically to public relations, the rest of the panel included MSM experts who told how they’re are using the Web. They covered a lot of ground in 90 minutes, but I came away one clear message: Today’s PR practitioners, just like today’s journalists, must be will more versatile, and adept at using and understanding the full range of media. And we’ll need to do this very quickly.

But you knew that. More to come.

Disclosure: Edelman is covering my expenses for attending this conference.


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