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Phil and Leticia
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The Web is buzzing about Dr. Marcia DiStaso's papers in PRSA's Public Relations Journal (PDF) and the Institute for PR's research notice (PDF). Continue reading
Flickr User:Matteo & Marianna It's a shame that so many folks online still suffer from the childhood disease known as "X Is Dead" Syndrome. This time around, it was the recurring "RSS Is Dead" meme. RSS creator Dave Winer didn't miss a chance to throw a tantrum, obviously. True to form, TechCrunch couldn't pass up participating in an ill-considered dustup either. After all, "RSS Is Dead" is comfortable territory for them. As I'm fond of saying, life for many folks in the Web 2.0 world is simply just the downtime between opportunities to hate on stuff. Thankfully, cooler heads like Matthew Ingram exist: The fact that RSS may be fading in terms of mainstream user awareness is actually a good thing rather than a bad one. The sooner people can forget about it because it just works in the background, the better off we’ll all be — in the same... Continue reading
It wasn't my intent to turn this blog into The Spin Crowd blog, but I recognize that I count fair number of students as readers. Some of these students might watch the show. The thing is, I've given enough talks at schools to know that popular culture greatly influences what young people think of PR, from movies like Thank You for Smoking and Phone Booth to shows like the one we're talking about here. Hopefully, I can help some students by putting some reality into this "reality show." I may not get to posting my thoughts as soon as the episode comes out, but hopefully they'll go up in just enough time so as not to be completely useless. In any event, it's an interesting springboard from which to discuss various realities about PR. So, the second episode of The Spin Crowd featured some fairly standard reality-show set pieces. We... Continue reading
There are two principal issues that affect how PR is perceived in the popular imagination: No one knows what you do for a living, often confusing your trade with advertising or simple publicity, and People who think they know what PR is learned what they learned from shows like E!'s The Spin Crowd. For those of you who haven't yet experienced the latest basic-cable-conveyed inconvenience to the poor electrons that zip through the wires leading up to your cable box, The Spin Crowd is like MTV's PoweR Girls, only without the excitement of having Lizzie "Terror of the Hamptons" Grubman at the helm. Instead, we have Jonathan Cheban, whom the Post referred to as "The Devil Makes Everyone Else Wear Prada." In the first episode, Cheban browbeats a first-year associate into getting her lips plumped with collagen injections, calling her "homely" to her face and encouraging her to "step it... Continue reading
Photo by Laughing Squid Not too often but, every once in a while, a company will send a cease-and-desist letter to a netizen it finds, well, pesky. These are typically attempts at control and intimidation in an environment where the most one can reasonably strive for is to influence an outcome. These letters quickly get posted, passed around, and become targets of richly deserved ridicule. Nevertheless, there are instances where taking such action is justified. OnTechnologyLaw gives a five-point test to at least help ridicule-proof a C&D. Philosophically, their approach is very sound: A kinder, gentler approach is almost always better – not least because the cease-and-desist letter might someday be read by a judge, by jurors, and/or by journalists and bloggers. The Technology & Marketing blog wisely points out: Increasingly, lawsuits play out in the public arena, so it's also worth looping in the PR/messaging folks at the early... Continue reading
A U.S. general and a political journalist have had their less-than-flattering comments become the talk of the interwebs. The former is, I could argue, someone who should uniquely understand the value of information control. The latter is in a profession that often relies on failures in information control in order to demonstrate its value. While holding two different perspectives on this concept, in both cases, the general's and the journalist's media behavior cost them their jobs, one by way of a public dismissal (of the most public variety) and the other through a speedy resignation. And, in both cases, the most naïve and hackneyed of all possible excuses was deployed. Yup... General Stanley McChrystal's handlers and WaPo's David Weigel said they were "off-the-record" when their comments came back to bite them via Rolling Stone (McChrystal) and during participation in a since-scuttled listerv for journalists (Weigel). "Off-the-record." People actually still believe... Continue reading
I've lately been interested in how some of the names-you-know in social media have blown up their digital presences in order to refocus, retrench, or reinvent their online identities. Some examples: Leah Jones has tweeted her last as @leahjones is now @chicagoleah on Twitter. She explains the move over at the Natiiv blog. My colleague Steve Rubel stopped blogging and started "lifestreaming." Going back further, I remember when people made a ridiculously big deal out of when Hugh McLeod killed (and later resurrected) his Twitter account. Me? I just kind of got sick of dragging around my technology choices of 2001. In any event, I was already running two blogs on TypePad. Mostly, though, the old blog represented a "me" from a long time ago and starting Where the Fishermen Ain't was a good way to make a clean break. All of this is so much more than the nauseating... Continue reading
Flickr User: TimmyGunz I really do hate this question. The public "owns" social media. It's a communications professional's job, within that environment, to ensure that the organization he or she represents maintains a position as a welcome member of those communities. As with a great many things, though, I have to look at this as a case of a topic that's frequently poorly expressed and considered, rather than completely without value. Vocus recently tried to tackle this topic in a recent survey and, in so doing, exposed some fallacies surrounding this persistent discussion. Ownership of social media and blogging is still undecided: PR and marketing each have a strong sense of ownership. 43% of PR professionals feel they should own social media, while 34% of marketers make the same claim. Here's a concept: Social media principles should be integrated throughout the respective disciplines of public relations and marketing (as well... Continue reading
On my old site, I used to have a section called "Heroes," dedicated to the musicians, authors, thinkers and artists that influenced me over the years. Two of the honorees on that list have passed away in as many months. I find myself strangely affected by it all. Last month, Peter Steele of Type O Negative passed away quietly due to heart failure. Some musician friends of mine told me that, as recently as a few months before, he was performing with the lyrics to the band's songs placed on a stand in front of him. I first encountered Type O Negative and Steele's uniquely dark sense of humor when I was working as a volunteer at KSMC-FM, the campus radio station at Saint Mary's College of California. Our music directors (long on attitude, though evidently short on taste) had relegated TON's second album, Bloody Kisses, to our cut-out bin.... Continue reading
Flickr User: Coloriamo la città There's a great post over at TheOpenForce about the common activities, statements or corporate-culture realities that kill creativity, new ideas and brainstorms at organizations. Some sessions were noticeably more effective than others in encouraging creative ideas. I started to wonder why that is and came up with the top ways to kill new ideas. If you see these tenets taking hold in your organization, then you need to change things up to get people thinking more radically. Urlocker laments that he only offers eight items for what he feels should properly be a top-ten list. Others have offered their two, so here are mine: 9. King/Queen Bee Syndrome In most any organization, there are one or two people whose ideas, by default, get a few extra brownie points, usually because he or she did something spectacular or award-winning a decade ago. The group will then... Continue reading
by M3Li55@ Mashable and others are reporting about a ruling by a U.S. Appeals Court that the FCC does not in fact have the power to enforce the net-neutrality compliance of ISPs. Many folks are surprised that I don't reflexively support the concept of net neutrality and, instead, have tended to plant myself in the undecided column. Increasingly, however, I've determined that I ultimately have more faith in the market to work out this particular issue than I do regulators. One issue has to do with jurisdiction, a notion I'm glad to see that the courts support. The FCC—a creaky relic of a long-gone, vacuum-tubed, spectrum-constrained era—simply does not have the mandate to regulate the Internet or ISPs any more than the DMV has the power to regulate the highway system. Every day, infrastructure and equipment providers figure out ways to deliver more bandwidth more cheaply, continuing to humiliate the... Continue reading
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Mar 15, 2010