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The “new tools” of marketing and PR are still “new” even though they’ve been in use for years now.

Though best practices and rules of the game still appear far from certain, “new media” is now an established, entrenched industry, with all the hallmarks that come with this distinction. Books aplenty continue to come out on how firms can “leverage new media to build lasting relationships with their customers.” The number of “social media consultants” continues to grow at a torrid pace as does the number of purported “experts.” Amidst all of this, the echo chamber rings out with strange arguments about who “owns” social media and where it should be housed, as if there is actually an answer. Its a bit dizzying at times.

Let me ask you this: if you had a marketing or PR campaign that really mattered can you imagine yourself NOT using these channels? Of course you’d employ them – it’s the only responsible thing to do. So, while I understand that there is always room for specialized labour (a crisis comms guy, a social media specialist, someone who buys ads for a living) I think we need to strip away the mystique that results from excessive use of words like “new,” “2.0,” etc.

These terms serve legit digital agencies, social media charlatans and a host of others very well because of the implied connotations. Folks are more apt to believe they need expensive, expert consultants when something is “new” or a “new important frontier that levels the playing field” (Baby boomer biz execs at larger firms lose sleep over the latter phrase and end up hiring interns to run company Twitter accounts, thinking only the young “get it”).

Let’s admit it, these channels are just channels and execs ignore them at their own peril. Though the “new” channels have their own particular particularities there is no fancy voodoo needed to play in these spaces. As always, a clear objective, a plan and understanding about the space are prerequisites. It ain’t about “new marketing and PR 2.0” – at this point it’s just about marketing and PR. What was once “new” is now “normal.”

The evidence supports this notion. Indeed, adoption of the “new” tools is now widespread around the world and continues to grow amongst Inc and Fortune 500 companies. “New” is now ubiquitous.

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