You see it almost every day on news shows — an expert on scene to help explain a certain issue. Sometimes they are found by a news station, other times, they are handpicked by a company to provide a point of view.
Well, according to PR Daily, the Internet is killing the PR use of the expert:
The Internet is killing the “expert.”
Leveraging “experts” has always been a proven way to garner earned media coverage for clients. Experts are trusted resources that can organically land media placements while seamlessly plugging brands into the segment. Now that anyone with an Internet connection can share their expertise with the world, the once “trusted expert” is becoming harder to find.
Consumers are realizing that anyone can declare themselves an expert, making it more challenging to prove credibility. In fact, some experts are beginning to question their own credibility, suggesting that we’re all just learning as we go. Luckily, the lessons are the most interesting part.
I guess this makes sense. We have access to a wealth of information now, and with the ease of social media, Google, and Wikipedia, one can easily locate information regarding a person’s background. For example: Is that really a geology expert or just a geode enthusiast?
Personally, I think this is probably a good trend. It means that the consumer is more aware of what they are purchasing and not as gullible. It means that in order to claim somebody is an expert, a company or news station must be entirely confident in their expert or they face the consequences, such as mistrust by the consumer or alienating stockholders.
What do you think? Is this just another trend that will make our future in this field more difficult or do you think that it is all for the better?