Trying to Prove PR’s Value? All You Need Is an iPhone

A flight attendant went berserk on an American Airlines plane this morning as it taxied for takeoff in Dallas, and some of the action was broadcast on the Web. This got me thinking: Who got the first email or call at American when the story broke?

I think we all know the answer to that.

The tangible evidence that PR pros wish they had to justify their existence is right in their hands—at this very moment, most likely. It’s the mobile device—the iPhone, the iPad, the Droid. Everyone is a broadcaster—every company exists in a glass house. Some PR pros refer to measurement as the bane of their existence, as they struggle to prove to the bean counters that what they’re doing adds value to the bottom line.

But where will those bean counters turn when one of their own employees or top executives runs amok on a plane or in a restaurant or on Twitter? Who’s equipped to deal with the mess, get the story straight and start communicating? Not the engineering department, and not the marketing department either.

Running amok is not the semi-private act it used to be. All spaces are public spaces now, and all the world’s a YouTube stage.

—Steve Goldstein

On Twitter: @SGoldsteinAI

  • Natasha

    PR has always been the go-to department when there’s a mess that needs to be cleaned up. In this age of camera phones and social media, any foul-up can be recorded, saved and posted,shared or tweeted and employees have to bear this in mind when they’re going about their duties.

    Since any individual with a camera can broadcast an event across the globe with the simple touch of a button, employees must be constantly aware of how their behaviour can affect their personal reputation along with those of their profession and employer.

    Maybe this is where management and PR departments can collaborate in educating employees about how mobile devices and social media have changed the game.