I finally had a chance to catch up on some podcasts over the holiday weekend while driving to and from relatives.
This is from last month, but it’s significant so I want to share with you the thoughts of the founder of the Weber Shandwick Worldwide PR firm Larry Weber‘s views on where budgets are shifting and, by extension, where the PR industry is headed.
"…That’s going to shift in the next three years [the percentage of budget devoted to TV advertising versus PR]. This year alone, we’ll spend $110 billion on broadcast television in the United States alone. PR, probably, in this country…seven billion in fees, maybe six and a half billion in fees.
"So a huge disparity, correct?
"But as social media takes over, as ecommunities, as blogsphere self-edits, you know, as reputation aggregators like Google, MSN, grow in their influence–Yahoo–you’re going to see shifts of those television dollars because at its worst analytic, AdAge said a quarter of that $110 billion will be DVRed or Tivoed, if you use that service.
"So, to go into a CEO and go ‘We’ve flushed $25, $30 billion–we don’t know where it went because nobody watched the ads’–there’s no way; why wouldn’t you start building communities? Why wouldn’t you start reaching out to digital media?
"So, I think there’s going to be a much bigger shift of taking those budgets and moving them to PR/social media, building of customer communities, and I think it’s going to be an exciting time for a shift in marketing focus."
On The Current Stage Of Social Media/Marketing
"We’re just at the beginning and it’s first generation, so, you know, I liken it in my speeches and in my book, I liken it to the first years of television advertising in the 1950s where all you did was, a guy held up a box of soap and said ‘This gets your clothes whiter.’ That was it.
"So, we’re at the very beginning of understanding the social media landscape, of which networks are being built, where the conversations are being had."