X
Home & Office

Global ebusiness: Web rings changes for PR industry

The public relations industry is facing a radical overhaul under the influence of ebusiness and the internet, according to Lord Alan Watson, European chairman of PR giant Burson Marsteller.
Written by Sally Watson, Contributor

The public relations industry is facing a radical overhaul under the influence of ebusiness and the internet, according to Lord Alan Watson, European chairman of PR giant Burson Marsteller.

In an exclusive interview with silicon.com, Lord Watson claimed traditional PR practices are becoming obsolete. "Every company knows its got key audiences - employees, shareholders, government for regulation etc," he said. "The way businesses are perceived by each of those audiences impacts the bottom line& and can be a life or death matter." The heart of Burson Marsteller's business now, according to Watson, is to counsel on how to handle those relationships. "Now that is not public relations in the old sense of gin and tonics and press releases, it's actually about total communications in which the internet is really central," he said. Founded in 1953, American public relations company Burson Marsteller quickly moved to become a global player, establishing offices in London and Paris during the first few years. The company currently employs over 2,000 staff in 35 different countries and revenues topped $275m last year. With multinational clients including Andersen Consulting, Hitachi, Sun and Unilever, Burson Marsteller has tried to keep on top of the high-tech game, a move Lord Watson predicted will become crucial in the future. "We work for large, multinational corporations and the net has hugely impacted their business," Lord Watson says. "The great difference from earlier IT revolutions is this is not an enhancement of the conventional business by technology, it's actually a technology which changes the business itself. To see the full interview with Lord Watson, check out silicon.com's Global Ebusiness special at http://www.silicon.com/global
Editorial standards