I was giving a presentation to some of my colleagues today, going over the basics of what Web 2.0 means for us as a PR agency, and one of them asked the following question: “There are so many new sites and platforms coming along every year, how do we know which ones we’re supposed to pay attention to?”
It’s a valid question, but the answer is simple: You can’t, so don’t bother trying. The internet is full of Bandwagoneers and Me-Too Merchants, if you tried to track every single start-up and predict which ones would be successful and, moreover, useful from a PR perspective, you’d go mental.
There’s a lot of pressure in the tech industry to constantly be on the leading edge, and that’s no bad thing because it’s always a good idea to know what’s coming over the horizon. But as far as PR is concerned, where’s the advantage? If that hot new start-up you read about really is the next Facebook, then it’s not going to be very useful to you until everybody else agrees with that assessment, and it’s still going to be around in six months time.
Venture capitalists may have to break a sweat trying to figure out who tomorrow’s winners are going to be, but in the PR business it’s our job to figure out how we can put these platforms to work for our clients, only after the markets have chosen the winners.