Building "buzz" was the hallmark of dot-com PR, writes Lois Paul of the PR firm of Lois Paul & Associates. Now that the dot-coms have crashed, she says PR must deliver "real messages" and present "real companies, not personalities or 'vision.' ... The best PR people are invaluable to companies during this type of downturn," she says, because "PR today is all about reputation management."
Government agencies have tried to remove sensitive information from the internet, only to discover that copies have proliferated and they're virtually impossible to eradicate. Copies of supposedly eradicated reports and documents can be found using common search engines and the Internet Archive's whimsically named Wayback Machine, a digital archive of Internet sites that makes it possible to visit web pages even after they have been deleted or changed.
Popular Internet gateway Yahoo Inc. will start letting advertisers pay to be listed in results generated by the site's search engine.
Journalists were watchdogs who didn't bark until after the stock market bubble burst, Jim Michaels told about 70 journalists Tuesday at a conference sponsored by Strong Funds in Menomonee Falls, Wis. "We've just come off the worst investment bubble in history that cost investors something like $3 trillion," said Michaels, who served as editor of Forbes magazine for 38 years and is still a vice president there. "The whole thing was a Ponzi scheme, yet during much of it, business journalists were cheerleaders for it.
"Public relations companies wrote all those news releases that helped inflate the Internet bubble, so perhaps it's only fitting that they feel the effects of its collapse," observes CNET News.com. PR firms like Edelman are laying off staff and closing offices as money dries up from collapsing dot.coms.
One sign of how different this "war on terrorism" is from previous U.S. wars is evident in the campus antiwar movement's use of the Internet. While they have so far received very little media coverage, already tens of thousands of young people in the U.S. are participating in vigils, rallies, fundraisers, teach-ins and other events that mourn the victims of terrorism while calling for military restraint and an examination of the role of the U.S. government itself in terrorism in the Middle East, Central America and elsewhere.
In the wake of the dot-com meltdown, PR people are asking themselves, "what can PR do now that the IPOs have dried up? Where's the story?" This roundtable featured PR experts with answers like the following:
No public relations agency in America benefited more from the Internet boom than Middleberg & Associates. By the year 2000, Middleberg had established itself as the authority on online media relations, but the dot-com meltdown also means leaner times for its PR firms. Last week, agency founder Don Middleberg closed the firm
Many web surfers rely on for-profit search engines and web directories like Yahoo to guide them to news items of interest. When FAIR scrutinized Yahoo!'s daily journalism site, however, it found a serious lack of diversity. Of 21 columnists in the Yahoo! News Op/Ed section, 62 percent are conservatives, 14 percent are centrists, and 24 percent are progressives. 67 percent are male, 90 percent are white, and not one progressive person of color is a contributor. Additionally, five of the seven female columnists are conservatives.