Thursday, March 31, 2005

What PR Used to Do 

Here is an example of what PR used to do -- teaching people how to dial a rotary phone. This film from 1927 is a painful reminder that AT&T had once the largest public relations department in the world. Now AT&T is no more, and the thousands of PR people that once worked for the firm are retired or doing other things.

AT&T in the end forgot its monopoly existed by permission of the government that granted it and could be removed at any time -- as it was. When removed, the company learned it had forgotten how to compete -- if it ever knew. The collapse was slow in coming but inexorable. PR could not help in the end because AT&T's market was gone and its purchase on the minds of Americans lost.

A company is never safe and can never stop building its relationships with key audiences.

When an unexplained bill for voice mail appeared on my AT&T bill, I went to an office to pay in person and find out why I was being charged for a service I did not have or request. I was told that AT&T bills for the collection company (Teleservices) who bills for the provider (foneright). Surely, by this time, AT&T is aware that these two companies are slamming and scamming. Why is AT&T putting their customers through this and doing damage to their company's reputation???

Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?