Interview with 2009 PRSA International Conference Keynote Speaker Bob Garfield

September 29, 2009 by Eric Schwartzman
2009 PRSA International Conference Keynote Speaker Bob Garfield, author of “The Chaos Scenario” and co-host of NPR’s “On the Media” talks about the imminent fate of the mass media business, why the insatiable quest for quarterly profits spells death for the old media guard and what the collision of our TV sound bite culture and the Net means for so many Americans who are chronically disengaged from credible sources of news and information.
On the Record…Online returns as the Official PR Podcast of the 2009 PRSA International Conference, which will be in San Diego, Oct. 7-10, 2009.  We’ll be talking to other conference keynoters in the weeks leading up to the event, and interviewing many of the presenters and panelists on site in San Diego as well.  You can register to attend here.
3:12 – Bob Garfield on what he’ll discuss (*explicative*) at the 2009 PRSA International Conference.
3:34 – How the web empowers those of us formerly known as the customer, the electorate or the congregation to make life miserable for organizations.
4:39 – Why the digital revolution, which allow us to aggregate the energies and combined passions of the entire world, means utter catastrophe for the media and marketing industries.
6:02 -- The imminent fate of the fabled symbiosis between advertising and media as a result of the digital revolution. 
7:02 – Why the public financial ownership model, which demands increased quarterly net profits, promotes status quo by restricting the mainstream media business from experimenting with new media and social media channels that could have long term benefits at the expense of short term gains.
10:03 – Stakeholder relations as the future of marketing and advertising online.
13:40 – The dangers of living in a US without a vibrant mainstream news media complex serving as a proverbial fourth estate, offering another set of checks and balances against the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
14:34 – The difference between the psychology of the crowd and the aggregated wisdom of the crowd.
16:35 – Cable news puts sensationalism before journalism by serving up a continuous feed of lies, half-truths and demagoguery that corresponds with the world view of its target audience, but the Internet hosts an endless number of points of views, so there will always be a greater number of moderate, rational thinkers on the web then in the polarized world of cable news, says Garfield.
20:01 – Whether or not trusted journalism brands will ever enjoy their day on the sun again.
21:17 – How and why unchecked power, as demonstrated by the careers of Kevin Costner and Eddie Murphy, rarely results in quality products.
21:55 – The severity of the digital revolution will not allow old media to adapt to the new media landscape.  Garfield says this shift is on the scale of the industrial revolution, collapsing entire business models.  Shel Holtz take note.
22:31 – Why the advertising industry cannot and will not adapt to the digital revolution.
24:39 –Transferring one’s knowledge of mass media to the business of new media engagement and what the convergence of the sound bite and the internet means for a large number of American who are chronically disengaged from accurate, balanced news and information.
26:38 – Some journalism brands will survive, but while the imminent “Chaos Scenario” that Garfield predicts is underway, many purveyors of mainstream news media will disappear. He shares what the media and democracy landscape might look like in 20 years.
28:04 – The impact of the rise of social media on television spot advertising, Madison Avenue’s mad dash to reinvent itself in the digital world and why online display advertising is so ineffective.
29:54 – Garfield’s investment advice to shareholders of Interpublic Group [NYSE: IPG] and Omnicom [NYSE:OMC].
Eric Schwartzman (@ericschwartzman) is a new media and social media communications consultant, the creator of the top-rated New Media and Social Media Boot Camp, which has been attended by more than a thousand public relations and marketing executives from the private, public, government and nonprofit sectors. In addition to advising clients on best practices for online newsroom design, deployment and management, Schwartzman offers a portfolio of social media training courses to accelerate the acquisition of social media communication skills, as well as social media strategy and campaign support.  Schwartzman is also the founder of online newsroom software as a service provider iPressroom.
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