So The Good Book says you don’t put old wine in new wineskins. You put in the old wine in the old wine skin, and the new wine in the new wine skin, and then that way, both old and new are preserved.

Yesterday I started a little fire, on the subject of New PR. We all agree that social media (Facebook, Twitter, the mobile web, and the concepts behind them) is bringing about change in marketing, PR, advertising, etc, and amongst much hyperbole my point was, and I quote;

Companies are no longer able to procure their voice through paying an agency to write distant, removed press releases and expect them to connect and engage with their customers. Why? Because the press doesn’t form opinion anymore.

What followed was some great discussion, mostly contrary to my point, which you can read here. Today is part 2, which is in part a response to the comments, and in another part it’s that uncomfortable middle movie in a trilogy. Oh well.

In case you didn’t know, PR is changing. Companies are no longer able to procure their voice through paying an agency to write distant, removed press releases and expect them to connect and engage with their customers. Why? Because the press doesn’t form opinion anymore. Because customers have taken matters into their own hands, and found a way to get their reviews and opinions from real people with real experience.

Personally, I find it insane and insulting that companies think they can connect with me through cold and calculated statements that I might happen to read. PR needs to be reborn. Press Releases are antiquated remnants of a broadcast age and printed media. We need a rebirth for the engagement age of social media and beyond.

Allow me to introduce you to the New PR: Personal Relationship.

Well, it’s finally happened. After 50 or so posts, I am writing my first ‘keeping you in the loop post’, in other words, a post about not posting.

I’ve agonised over leaving the blog blank while I get my thoughts into gear, or whether to throw out an update, but in realising that I myself go on and on about social media being relational, I can’t not practise what I preach. So, here goes with my first ‘keeping you in the loop’.

Of course, I’m not embarrassed or ashamed about this. In actual fact I’ve received loads of support from you all on my latest projects:

In setting the context for today’s post, it helps if I take a moment to shamelessly promote the good work a bunch of us have started with Like Minds. Last week I went from having a great idea, commitments from some speakers, and the help of a really great co-founder (Drew Ellis, take a bow) – to having a kicking website, paying sponsors, expert panelists, and best of all, actual paid bookings. It’s been a momentous seven days or so, but it would’ve been impossible if I wasn’t standing on the shoulders of giants.

You see this past week I’ve written copy, created press releases, and masterminded panels, but none of this thinking has been original on my part. It has been a case of finding those who’ve already done it, and copying and pasting. (Thank you, Media140.)

115-252960398_a210b7a56d_m.jpgI opened BBC News this morning to read the sad announcement that Patrick Swayze has passed away, no less than 20 months after being told he had only weeks to live. I remember thinking months ago that it would be a sad day when this day did indeed come, and now that it is here, I feel I must say something about this man.

I’m not one for celebrity. Hence I have no problem writing about Patrick Swayze – because he isn’t one of these new celebrities that clog up newspaper stands and gossips columns across the world. Personally I think glossy magazines are soul destroying material that promote fake lifestyles that no one can ever attain to, and spur a culture of ‘me me me’ rather than ‘we we we’.

I saw this on the interwebs recently. It’s one of those pictures that speaks more than a thousand words. On first glance, one chuckles at the commitment of this person to a movement. Perhaps it’s fashion gone too far. But then you realise this movement is in actual fact a brand: a compelling brand with exceptional strength, that stands for more than fashion or fads.

As you look at the ink that has pigmented the skin – creating quite literally a brand, a permanent mark – it dawns on you that this person is not likely just a follower or imitator. This person is more than likely a survivor. And they identify with these words on a level deeper than mimicry or fascination. The story of one person so strongly resonates with another, that they find strength through it – such strength that this brand is a constant reminder, a continual prompt. No doubt it is these two words that kept them going when they wanted to give up, kept them comforted in the midnight hour, and now, that they have come through the worst, to live in such a manner that they will do all that is within their strength to never go back.

Let me begin by saying that this post will share with you something that has become very close to my heart. My story pertains mostly to church life, however, now in my mid-twenties I face similar lessons in business – and I am certain this post will be applicable to most people in most life situations.

As everyone knows, our childhood is spent wanting to be older. And as the more ambitious and aspirational of you will know, it often doesn’t stop after teens but continues throughout every stage of life. At some point, the pointer tips the other way, and our desire turns to a longing to be younger. Whether it’s a different age, location or station in life that we desire, it seems to be a dissatisfaction, either big or small, with the current season that we are in.