PR is dead, long live PR

by Saleem Khan, CBC News online

Richard Edelman, the global CEO of the Edelman public relationsorganization, wrapped up his conversation with Stuart MacDonald on stage at the Mesh conference here in Toronto a few minutes ago, where he was talking about the future of PR. He's one of the first top executives to write his own blog.

"The word spin has no place in our company," Edelman said. "It is the single thing most undermining our industry."

"The CEO of Pitney Bowes, Michael Critelli, is going to start blogging on health care issues .... He wants to have a voice," Edelman said, using the example to illustrate that the culture of PR is slowly but surely changing.

"I want to tell you from my own experience - being a blogger, it's very gratifying," Edelman said, explaining he was inspired to start blogging in 2004 after talking to a cousin, Linda Stone, "a technologist at Microsoft" who is writing a book that looks at digital culture.

To illustrate a point, Stone described "an investment banker sitting in the gym, playing with his BlackBerry and watching CNN," Edelman said. "If that is the world - you only have to look at a teenager to see that is the world," how do you reach it?

"I decided to start blogging .... We decided to push our clients [to blog as well]."

If you have a question you want to ask Richard Edelman, post it in the comments below and we'll ask as many as we can.