Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hong Kong PR industry is thriving...

I am in the process recovering from last night’s ‘First ever Hong Kong PR network social gathering’. The event bought together PR professionals from all over Hong Kong, in house and agency, and from all levels.

It was a fantastic success, with over 60 participants taking time out of their busy schedules to enjoy a few drinks with their industry peers. The event, sponsored by the cPRFHK, bought together like minded people who, I believe, will be the drivers of the industry.

David Ketchum, chairman of the council, made a very interesting welcome speech, which I thought is worth mentioning.

He started off declaring that PR as it is today in Aisa will be dead and buried within 5 years and that social media will be the future of the business. He went on to say that all our clients will be looking towards PR consultants to advise and implement campaigns based on interactions with the audience rather than relying on traditional media. (This is a summarized version of his speech!)

Although I agree with him 100 per cent, my cautious side is kicking me in the shins and reminding me not to forget about the bread and butter of our industry. We are in a position where huge change is on the horizon and we are accelerating towards it at 150 mph, but as any one knows, you shouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch. But I wonder whether it is exactly this cautious side of people that is holding back the true power of social media.

One of my colleagues gave me a fantastic analogy to capture this change and it went like this. Traditional media is the horse and cart, whereas Web 2.0 is the motor car. When the motor car first came onto the scene people were very dubious – they saw it as dangerous, traveled too fast, expensive, a risk. At the tipping point, it became clear to all what the advantages of the car was. Look what happened, where is the horse and cart today?

So, to wrap up and give my head some rest:

- The Hong Kong PR scene is alive and well
- Integrated PR campaigns (traditional and online) is here and now, you can’t ignore it anymore
- Free booze will always pull in the crowds

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