We are not suggesting that PR has changed - no talk of PR2.0 here - but it is quite clear that 'new' social media such as blogs, video-sharing and podcasts are now, inescapably, an integral part of the communications environment. The Newcastle conference will give important insights into the impact of these changes, with the emphasis on showing how practitioners can create value from these innovations.
Back in November 2005, when we held our first event in Sunderland, many delegates came along for a glimpse of new techniques that still seemed to be just over the horizon; now it is time to take a long hard look at what is working and what isn't working, and how social media fits into the broader communications mix.
Next week, the results of EuroBlog2007 will be revealed at the Euprera Symposium in Ghent, Belgium. They will show social media techniques moving into the mainstream, creating a whole range of new opportunities and new challenges for practitioners.
In Newcastle and Ghent I will argue that the biggest shift has been the realisation among many of the sharpest practitioners that the most important dimension introduced by the new media is not the arrival of new promotional channels but in the way audiences can talk about and around products and services.
If we see PR as reputation management, we have to take account of the way reputation is formed, and I believe the biggest change that stems from the advent of social media is in the way reputations are created and they way they evolve.
There is no PR 2.0, but we are seeing dramatic changes in the environment in which real PR is being played out. Expect some challenging new perspectives from a first rate line-up of experts in Newcastle on March 27.