PR 2.0 and Online Marketing are Starting to Look Alike, Thanks to Gen Y

I’m beginning to realize that as much as PR and marketing folks don’t trust each other, the Maginot Line that separated them is starting to get a lot smaller.

And it’s all because of Generation Y.

Generation Y — people between the ages of 11 and 30 — have shunned traditional media and are regular consumers of online media. This is important, because Generation Y now outnumbers Baby Boomers, about 81 million to 78 million, depending on who you ask.

Gen Y consumes their media online: they read online newspapers instead of dead tree versions. They watch YouTube and, rather than traditional TV. They go out of their way to avoid marketing messages, rather than sit through 2 – 3 minutes of commercials (traditional “interruption marketing.”)

This has forced marketers to start reaching out to the Millennials where they are: video games, online videos, skate parks, social networks, and extreme sports sponsorships. They do this to build trust.

Public Relations 2.0 is all about building trust too. They use social media to expand their network to reach more consumers, and then try to create trust with the consumer. New marketing does exactly the same thing. They use social media, and try to build trust.

The ultimate difference is the motivation. Marketers try to make money for their clients, PR flaks try to get press for their clients.

I think we may see a day where PR and marketing agencies are no longer at odds, but begin cooperating, merging, or at least hiring someone from “the dark side” to handle that other side of the same coin.

Ghostwriting for Dummies

I’ve got a confession to make. Okay, not so much a confession, since it’s already one of the worst kept secrets ever.

My name is Erik, and I’m a ghostwriter.

(“Hi, Erik.”)

You probably already knew that. I own a company that ghostwrites blogs for other companies. I recently wrote a humor novel about a ghost in Irvington, a historic neighborhood in Indianapolis. (Ghost. Writing. Get it?) I’ve even ghostwritten a number of speeches, including for two U.S. Congressional campaigns about 6 and 8 years ago.

I recently helped ghostwrite another book that I’m very proud to be a part of.

I helped Kyle Lacy write Twitter Marketing for Dummies. Actually, I wrote half of it.

Not many people will know it, especially because my name is not on the cover. (Because I’m a ghostwriter; we don’t get our names on covers.) However, my name is there in the acknowledgments, and there are a few places where Kyle and I have some back and forth with each other on Twitter. We also reference people in our made up tweets, like Doug Karr, Michelle Ball, Lorraine Ball, and a few others.

I was really pleased that Kyle asked me to be a part of the project. And I was honored that he thought enough of my writing skills to ask me to help.

So how well is this book going to do? We don’t know. We both have ideas of grandeur, of a wild book tour where social media noobies and spammers Internet marketers flock to the bookstore in droves, screaming our names. But we also know that the harder work is yet to come. Writing a book is easy, promoting it is where the real work comes in.

If only there was some way we could market the book to a lot of people, quickly, easily, and even for free. I wish someone would build a tool that would communicate with thousands of people simultaneously, in short text-based messages. If only, if only. . .

We’re also looking at speaking engagements and presentations to corporate groups, conferences, and of course, the screaming groupies. So if you know of any speaking opportunities where people want to know how to use Twitter for their online marketing, send Kyle (@KylePLacy) or me (@edeckers) a tweet and we’ll get in touch with you.

Kyle and I are already discussing another project or two we are considering. He’s got the connections, and I can type 95 words per minute; together, we’ve got the know-how about the subject matter. The world is our oyster, and we’re going to write about it.

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