When the Old Ways are Best

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for progress and innovation. And while I won’t tell you my age, I will tell you that I am fortunate enough to have been raised in those halcyon days when we played outside until dark, used card catalogs to do our research in the library, and only had seven TV channels to choose from (which often is what kept us outside). I’m also the first generation to learn basic computing in school, but still learned to write neatly in cursive.

I’m not sitting here pining for the good old days. For the most part, the “new ways” have made life easier and better. GPS is a godsend for people like me with no sense of direction. Online shopping has been a boon for busy bargain hunters. Email, texting and social media have enabled us to keep up in real time with friends and family across the world. And I don’t need to tell you what technology has done to business and industry.

That said, occasionally, the old ways work best.

During the recent “Black Friday/Cyber Week” shopping season, I searched high and low online for a particular toy for my three-year-old niece. I searched every website I could think of. I googled. I looked again. I gave up and decided to think of another Hanukkah gift. Then while shopping for cleaning supplies in my local Target, I decided to pop into the toy department and lo and behold, the elusive toy was sitting right there in brick and mortar land.

And while I love the fact that cell phones enable me to reach my teens wherever they are, there were definite benefits to a shared family landline when you always knew who was calling your kids and when.

I also really, really miss phone books.

So sometimes progress isn’t always progress.

The world of news and journalism have changed. Any person with internet access can blog, post and report news. Google ad words, pay per click, SEO, content creation and management. These are the new ways in marketing.

And yet, the time-tested fundamentals of PR practice remain important, even crucial. The delivery methods may change but the overarching strategy does not. Clients need a good story; a unique proposition; a solid, reportable message, and even occasionally “damage control.” And they need experienced PR pros to finesse those stories and messages, and reach the reporters, journalists, and outlets that will help them to achieve their business goals.

The days of paperboys on bicycles may be long gone, but even in the new media landscape “old-fashioned” people skills and public relations savvy remain the best way to succeed.

By Gail Katz Dukas, Chief Operating Officer


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