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PR, Advertising Proves Information Technology’s Historical Shortcomings

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One of the advantages of beeing at a conference is the sudden meeting, a short discussion with someone, and – voila – you got yourself a new perspective.

At Les Blogs, I met a Norwegian guy who argued that advertising and PR are makeshift solutions — proof of the fact that information technology during industrialization couldn’t keep pace with production technology. Proof of nothing but a shortcoming, that is. Here’s (roughly) what he said:

“For ages, all businesses has had two major missions. To produce the goods (or services) and to take care of its customers. 150 years ago a well-trained shoemaker could complete a pair of shoes in one day. Say he did six pair of shoes in a week — that meant he met six customers per week.

Then production technology developed rapidly. The shoemaker built a factory and manufactured 1,000 pair of shoes per week.

Now it became impossible for him to meet the customers, because information technology (his means to meet the customers) couldn’t match the development pace of production technology. Instead he started to advertise, market and do PR. And that’s what his sons and daughters have been doing for 150 years to “take care” of their customers. But that has only been intermediary solutions.

If the shoemaker had the option, back in 1855, to start a blog he would have done so. And we would never have invented mass marketing.”

True? Perhaps not. But it is a challenging perspective to a PR pro.

To you who I talked to: Sorry, but I didn’t get your name. Please continue this discussion here or in your own blog and let me know. Thanks.

Fredrik Wacka is the author and founder of the popular CorporateBlogging.Info blog which is a guide to business and corporate blogging.

Visit Fredrik Wacka’s blog: CorporateBlogging.Info.

PR, Advertising Proves Information Technology’s Historical Shortcomings
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