PR News 2010 Media Relations Summit: Gary Wells, Dix & Eaton, interviewed by Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

October 18th, 2010
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Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE: Hi, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and we’re here at the PR News Media Relations Summit. I’m joined by Gary.

Gary, will you please introduce yourself?

GARY WELLS: My name is Gary Wells. I’m the senior managing director for media relations and global communications at Dix & Eaton.

BURKE: Now, Gary, you just gave a presentation talking about how traditional media and social media is incestuous. How do you manage the media relations, knowing that?

WELLS: First, a little bit of context about why I suspect that they are so incestuous. There’s been a lot written about the fact that the news media, mainstream media, are having financial difficulties, which is true; however, it’s a bit exaggerated. The mainstream media are not going anywhere, which means in a crisis situation they’re no less important; in fact, more important than they have ever been before for a number of reasons, not the least of which is what happens in the mainstream media drives much of the commentary on blogs about a crisis or an issue when it emerges. And what happens in the blogs then drives much of the chatter on social networks, as well. So mainstream media, from that standpoint, will continue to be very important.

At the same time, what happens–and this is where the incest, so to speak, comes in–and that is that social media and blogs report on what the mainstream media says, as well. So each genre reports on what the other says and treats it as a story. That’s fine as long as it doesn’t segue into falsehoods or inaccuracies because the story is perpetuated, but in this case so are the falsehoods or the inaccuracies, as well. In that situation, you have to move very quickly to monitor what’s being said about you not only in the mainstream media, but also in blogs and social media, and correct any inaccuracies as quickly as possible.

BURKE: Gary, thank you so much. I think those are incredibly valuable messages for media relations professionals and PR professionals at all times.

WELLS: My pleasure.

BURKE: Can you tell us where people can find you in social media or online?

WELLS: Sure. Probably the best place is to start with our website. It’s www.dix-eaton.com, and also the same address for Twitter.

BURKE: Thank you so much.

WELLS: Thanks.

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