The Communications Manifesto: "Public Engagement"

That's the way veteran PR exec and social media guru Steve Rubel put it during the "PR" panel at the Social Media Insider Summit this morning. Rubel, who is senior vice president of insights at Edelman Digital, defined marketing communications as going through four phases.

The first was "paid media," basically old school advertising on traditional, mainstream media.

The second phase, he said, was "earned media," or traditional public relations.

The third phase he said, is just beginning now, and is basically "direct channels" that are either "owned" or "rented" online by marketers to get their messages out directly to consumers.

The fourth phase, which Rubel said would emerge over the next five years, is an "open media" marketplace that will grow out of the social media infrastructure.

Rubel described these changes as an "evolution" of the public relations industry, and put out a manifesto dubbed "Public Engagement" that he said was an organizing principle for the PR industry, and he said it would lead to some fundamental changes in the way PR practitioners work. Agencies too. And most definitely clients. I imagine, it's going to affect me too.

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Public Engager Steve Rubel
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