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Raise your hand if you have a Facebook and/or MySpace profile. Anyone here on LinkedIn? Have you ever commented on a blog?

If so, you’re part of a changing dynamic in how we communicate that very few PR professionals understand. At Flat Creek, we work to integrate communications messages across various channels, insisting that our clients focus on delivering an outstanding service or product as the basis for a good reputation. The product, the audience, and the goal are what matter most from a PR perspective.

Richard Edelman, the well-regarded president and CEO of the global PR firm which goes by his name, shares this sentiment in a recent post about how corporations must adapt their communications efforts in order to maintain some sort of brand integrity. His full post can be found here, but I’ve listed a few notable lines below:

“My central thesis is that corporations can’t buy reputation or brand loyalty any more. These are earned through performance over the long-term.”

“In this changed environment, I believe that PR can adapt as well as, if not faster, than any other communications discipline… Our aim is to educate when possible, build bridges when necessary, and respect the new market-based conversations always.”

“The new reality for communications is the sphere of cross reference, in which information moves unpredictably among equal stakeholders. Conversations now occur spontaneously, in peer-to-peer discussion, with individuals creating their own webs of trust including people like themselves.”

KEY NOTE: “PR is simply a reflection of reality, well presented perhaps but based on fact and behavior.”