Many PR firms claim to be “innovators”, or at least “gurus” of the social media space, but few are actually engaged with any real confidence in what the social web can do for their business. We have reported an any number of top PR entities who “claim” to be engaged in the conversation on the Web, but beyond the few including Weber Shandwick and Horn Goup, “engagement” is really just lip service. Today I ran across another PR firm, PerkettPR, which not only engages, but has done so since the age of “the digital dinosaurs” so to speak – or 1998.
At first glance I thought Perkett was just “broadcasting” online PR in the same was as so many do. But, with a little surfing it became readily apparent that Perhett’s “bite” was about as profound as their “bark” with regard to their actual use of social media for business. Of course no PR firm is perfect, and some of Perkett’s past clients are not exactly “racehorses” of the Web 2.0 movement, but then any PR company has it dogs too. The site? Well, I will not get into that lengthy analysis right now, for it is not as important as their branding of the various social spheres is.
At the end of the day, just as it is in traditional PR, putting people on the sidewalk talking about clients and news is a huge part of public relations, and Perkett is endeavoring to raise the bar here. Let’s take a look at where this PR company has put its personel and resources in as far as taking advantage of digital communications.
As an integral part of Perkett’s operations, the blog does not appear to be at the top of their list of communicative devices. However, as for being informative, linked, integrated with other services, and chock full of decent content, it is one of the best we have seen among PR entities. In short, Perkett understands social networking and media, and communicates effectively via this invaluable tool.
PerkettPR Blog Stuff
- Alexa traffic rank – 890,911 – Better than the host site, but effectively unseen.
- Comments – Enabled but primarily Twitter ones. They are pretty sparse, but a lot more engaged that many other PR’s
- Aesthetics – Ugly – What does that matter? Passers by are not engaged as well
- Content – Very good and tied into subjects which are relevant and popular
- Branding – Not excessive on self aggrandizement, and one of the best PR examples we have seen. Noteable components, ADAge Power 150 ranked #402 – They obviously know what is going on
The blog aspect is pretty dog gone nice for these folks. It is apparent to me that these folks know what they are doing, but may be a little short handed (boy do we know that feeling). Additional content targeted to not just Twitter, but main stream news would help a great deal. Of course fully engaging conversation is a time consuming and painstaking job. They will have to hire more people to get this done.
Talking and Seeing
As far as the online video arm of social, Perkett has made a more broad reaching and defined effort to engage people via video than any PR company we have seen. However, if quality of content video wise were the criteria, their efforts would be small potatoes compared with more refined and to be honest, expensive ones by other companies. Engaging via Vimeo, BlipTV, and of course a YouTube channel, Perkett is on the road to blanketing the video Web.
Well, though Perkett has raced passed so many top PR firms in this space as well, apparently they have not learned that everyone (every client or collaborator) is not suited for prime time video. I will not burden the reader with Pekett’s Blip aspect, because if anyone is forced to watch Jason Falls talk on TV, we may get sued. Seriously, Falls is an innovator and one of the leading experts on all things social Web, but in the segment where he was interviewed by Perkett, it is quite obvious he was not versed before hand. A sort of “no-no” with regard to presenting him with his best foot forward.
Of course, Perkett did not sign up for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards did they? Should they? Probably in at least some facsimile thereof, because some of their video segments suck wind – big time. Even the founder looks puzzled (left) in an interview on one of the networks (sorry gal, I could not resist).
Facebook-ed To Smithereens
This aspect too is covered to the hilt by the people at Perkett. I am not personally a fan of Facebook, never was (even when begged to write about them). However, like the other social platforms, Facebook has been more than adequately engaged with more than just a “cursory” plug at being social.
Watch The Birdie
Twitter (Good God) engagement for PerkettPR is substantial as well. Not being a fan of Twitter either, this aspect is difficult for me to quantify well. Those that swear by it (like my partner sometimes) do have some good points. Without going into a dissertation on why Twitter should die, suffice it to say Perkett appears to devote substantial time to this outlet. In their literature, and a Businessweek article, it is suggested they use Twitter primarily as a media outreach and news tool however. Whatever their methods here, if covering all the bases counts toward a PR firm being digital, Perkett once again comes up aces. This is especially true given that they only have a hand full of employees.
Christine Perkett has built one of the most “wired” PR firms out there since 1998. In the end, this says a lot given how huge PR companies have “missed the boat” so far in using the Web the right way. This is not to say Perkett’s methods are all rocket science either, but they are a far cry from other inept efforts we have seen. I think the end of this story should say something about works in progress, and potential really. Though some of PerkettPR’s clients they use for testimony may have fallen by the wayside (like 8MinuteDating), and others are pretty much old school advertising interjections onto the Web, and etc., we cannot always pick and choose the very best brands to work for. Bragging about getting them mention by Katie Couric once they have dropped from favor may not be all for the best either, but who am I to say?
At best, this PR agency is trying, and making some headway for themselves and their clients. Social media and networking, and it PR extension, is not too different from any branding or visibility in any other sphere. If all we ever used were our best videos, our best case studies, and a range of other “contextual content”, many of us would not have anything to show anyone. The accumulation of excellent content and experience is what growing online media companies should worry about.
So, as a progressive online PR firm, Perkett is doing the job right for the most part. I would recommend them, unless of course a more in depth study reveals that their CEO is always as puzzled as she looks in that impromptu snippet I grabbed from a video of her. Just kidding, we gotta have fun doing this, lesson one.
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