Friday was the fifth and final conference in the Delivering the New PR series. And personally I think it was the best yet. We had some great delegates who were excited about the potential and challenges that social media offers to public relations professionals.
There was some fantastic discussion – both on the floor of the conference and in the bars – about Second Life. Neville Hobson (or JJ) was understandably in the pro-Second Life camp. Lydia Mallison-Jones (co-founder and director of conference sponsors Indigo Red), Philip Young, Tom Murphy and me are all still in the sceptic camp – we can see it’s potential and importance, but it’s not all there yet.
I’m with Lydia and am very sceptical about the transparency element of Second Life. For me personally I think it is potentially very dangerous ethically for PR practitioners because of the lack of transparency. In nearly all forms of social media it is possible to hide your identity and pretend to be someone else. But Second Life is the only one that actually FORCES and ENCOURAGES you to do so. That for me is plain wrong.
I’m far more excited by the idea of Cyworld which provides a virtual environment for YOU to participate in. If you do want to meet up with me in Second Life then my name is Stuart Briers, which is as close to Stuart Bruce as I could find.
For me one of the best things about the conference was meeting Roger Haywood. Roger wrote a book called All About PR (I think) which was the first ever PR book I read and from which I learnt an enormous amount that is still useful to me almost 20 years later. During my presentation Roger very kindly stood up and said that he was learning a lot from me.
Another of the big differences between the first conference last November and this one is the number of delegates who already had blogs and have very quickly blogged about the conference.
You can find more comment and reports from the Delivering the New PR conference here:
Delivering the New PR – Ertblog by Rob Skinner
Delivering the New PR – London – Simon Wakeman
Quaking & Second Life – Parle Encore by Lydia Mallison-Jones
Delivering the New PR – Part 1 report – The PR Place by Richard Millington