I interviewed Brian Solis for the CIPR's website recently. Brian is one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist and futurist, Solis helps practitioners get to grips with the effects of emerging media on marketing, communications and publishing.
His perspectives are well worth a listen:
One quote I'd pick out is this:
PR used to be right there at the top, but we slipped into publicity and media relations and spin, and forgot the opportunity to steer and shape perception, just such an opportunity afforded by participation and engagement in social media.
Brian's conclusion on this issue are optimistic however. When I asked him if this was a renaissance moment for PR, he basically claimed it to be a renaissance moment for every discipline in the "socialisation" (or is that with a "z"?) of business.