Every new book on social media considers PR as "dying art", the new book, "Putting the Public Back in Public Relations" by so-called "thought leader" on the web world, Brian Solis, is no better. The socialisation on the web has become the buzz world and panacea for every product, service, or organisation in the world to "succeed".
Unfortunately, the book having been written by an internet buff, and not a public relations practitioner, who has just peeped through the 19" window of the computer screen to sermonise on the profession, considering the Web2.0 as the ultimate solution to corporate crisis communication, has not done any justice to what the author feels as the "dying practice".
Public relations is neither media relations nor the online relations, and the 'public' here is not a teenaged geek passing comments on each and every issue, but a group of serious consumers who, not all of them, sit in front of their computers to understand the brand. They are out there in the market place where they feel, taste, breathe, see and touch the products and services and create the brands for an organisation.
Public Relations is all about people and nothing else. Web is a mere tool, and Twitter, Facebook, Orkut are the new set of screwdrivers added to its kitty which the practitioners are deploying to their best use depending upon the need, and yes, the nev-savvy 'public' is proactively engaged in this exercise.