PR Giant Edelman gears up for “Authentic Communications”

On March 4, 2008, PR giant Edelman announced the consolidation of its Edelman Interactive Solutions, me2revolution, and Edelman Mobile into one entity named Edelman Digital. According to the press release on Edelman’s website, the mission of Edelman digital will be “to create authentic communications programs that enable conversation and collaboration between companies, brands and their audiences across an increasingly complex digital landscape.”

While I applaud the forward-thinking nature of the mission in seeking to create “authentic communications,” some questions do come to mind. What makes a conversation “authentic?” Is Edelman selective about what firms and organizations they represent? Is it feasible, or even possible, for all firms to have “authentic communications” without ruining themselves (i.e. the many corporations who provide inferior service or products with the sole intention of increasing profits)?

I must admit that I am a bit skeptical at what the outcome of such “authentic communications” will be. This skepticism comes from the language in Edelman’s own press release. Edelman Digital COO David Dunne was quoted in the release as saying “We plan to capitalize on the strength and momentum of our core EIS business to create a world-class digital ‘agency within an agency,’ expanding our digital strategy and production work into new markets.” While I understand that growth is important to Edelman’s profitability, language of capitalization and growth feels as if “authentic communication” is being used as yet another marketing scheme. This is what leads me to ask “how ‘authentic’ will it really be?”


2 comments so far

  1. Rick Murray on

    Hi Will,

    You’re absolutely right to assert how difficult for us, and for our clients to embrace authenticity. I said as much in my post when we launched Edelman Digital a few months ago.

    It’s hard work, and while we may not always nail it, I assure you that it is at the core of our proposition. Will we turn down clients who demand inauthentic communications? Perhaps. Will we counsel clients on what we think they need to do to be authentic and why that matters? Absolutely.

    Happy to discuss live; feel free to ping me on email if you want to chat further. Most of all, good luck on your finals.



  2. Will Boyd on

    I’m glad that Edelman Digital will keep focused on “authentic”. I do think…and I didn’t make it clear…that this is absolutely a huge step in the right direction. The interesting part will be seeing how Edelman Digital navigates these waters, especially when it might be easier to do things less authentially.

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