Garfield: Marketing’s In, PR Is Out

Former Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield predicts the future of media in this Q&A with him at Sparksheet.

Tidbits from the wise: publishing is awash in conferences. In fact, according to Garfield, there are “more than 403 trillion conferences every week, and this is obviously unsustainable.” (Ha!)

Also, since brands are no longer in control of their brand, nobody needs PR anymore, and you poor flacks better run for the exit. Marketers, on the other hand, have the ability to “know more, and to slice and dice better, and to target their consumers better than they ever have before.” But “they also have the ability to have their audiences be their de facto PR agents because word of mouth, which has always been the most credible sort of advertising, is much more readily exploited in the connected world.”

Sounds reasonable. The #iphone #fail from last week, for example, is just the latest in a string of instances when a company’s “public face” (in this case, its facebook page) was taken over by angry angry customers. And of course AT&T tried to “quash,” in Garfield’s words, not help. Will AT&T’s brand be permanently damaged? Unlikely, but there is such a thing as a death by a thousand cuts.

Agree? Disagree? Discuss.