Posts about pr

Your advice, please

Give me your word of mouth, please. The Word of Mouth Marketing Association just emailed me to come to a confab they are having in December to question Richard Edelman about his firm’s Wal-Mart blogging fiasco and more. No holds barred, they say. I’m not sure I want to do it. I don’t much like the fact that there is a Word of Mouth Marketing Association; I don’t want them buying our mouths and thinking that they can rent buzz and our opinions with it, corrupting the space. I have avoided the organization in the past. I also don’t want to be seen as a soft-ball pitcher. Nor do I want to be the convenient snarker. Then again, it is a chance to get warn and scold. I told them that I would ask your advice. With one exception (he/she knows who she/he is), I want to hear from many, not only with advice on whether I should do this but if I do, what my goals should be.

: LATER: Here is the WOMMA questionnaire: Are you cricket?

And nothing but

Edelman PR is throwing water on its own PR fire following the fakey Wal-Mart blog. Richard Edelman outlines a series of steps they’re taking. I’d say it’s really quite simple and can be boiled down to this: Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Lie, hide, fake, fool, or buy people and you lose. And I’m not being smart-assed. It really is that simple. And the more complicated you make the rules, the more loopholes you end up building in. It’s just like Mom used to say: Tell the truth and everything will be fine.

News, faster than the speed of spin

In the Observer, Peter Preston notes that the internet is beating the bejesus out of London’s tabloids. And at Eat the Press, Rachel Sklar notes that news now spreads faster than a flack can pick up a phone:

. . . the news about Gibson’s drunken anti-Semitic tirade was broken online and disseminated immediately via the internet, before traditional print outlets had the chance to do their reporting and, more importantly, before Gibson’s people had a chance to react and spin accordingly . . .

The internet is often acccused of making news spread too quickly, before journalists and editors can vet and verify — fog of war, and all that. But Rachel finds the considerable advantage of news outrunning spin. Sometimes, news is best served raw.

Amanda exposes herself

For those following the Strumpette saga, “Amanda” has exposed her/him/their self in the comments below:

If you did just a little research, you’d readily find that there are 5 people that write for the character “Amanda Chapel.”

Why a character? Two reasons:

1. It provides us a platform (brand) where we are able to draw attention to some of the hypocritical issues that presently plague PR.

2. It’s safe. This shields us from ad hominem arguments which are a mainstay of net discussion. See, in the “flat world,” Jeff can rally 6 million people (as with Dell) with pitch forks and torches very well. Regrettably, that comes without any real depth. That, by definition, is a mob. Mobs like hangins.

Our motive is simple to check the blog hype, especially in PR, and to do that without retribution.

Kind regards,

– Amanda

PS Regarding Edelman… They get our attention a lot because they are some of the most prolific blog advocates in PR. We’ve come to call their “Me2Revolution,” the Me2CommieBastards.

He/she/they are still trying to take the easy way out, though. I emailed “Amanda” and said:

I still want to push you on the anonymity/pseudonymity of “Amanda.” Yes, it’s cute. Yes, it lets you go hyperbolic. But as PR (communications) professionals, I’d think that you’d want to get credit for your ideas. Or to put the question another way: What does attacking the ideas of others do for your business?

They complain about bloggers being snarking mobs but then they create a character to do nothing but snark from behind a veil.

By the way, the assumption from all the prior sleuthing is that Amanda is a creation of at least one person in this bunch.

: I still prefer Rex’s theory, from the comments below:

Just a theory: Nick Carr is Amanda Chapel. Or maybe Nick is John Dvorak.

: The Amandas respond in email:

We are our words. The motivation is exclusively within the art. However, Guernica, Strumpette is not?

Oh, gag me with a PR schwag pen. I don’t buy it. Art? Hardly. Amusement? Why? I still don’t see the business motivation from a bunch of flacks so clearly is intent on protecting big business. Perhaps this is just their last will and testament.

Fake breasts

OK, now that that little bit of performance art with Strumpette is over, I’m left fascinated by the psychology of the troll.

Clearly, Amanda is the figment of someone’s wet dream. Even I, high priest of transparency, couldn’t see anyone writing a bio like this. Yes, it’s a shame those “perfect perky boobs” aren’t real. Amanda has no visible Google tracks prior to this blog; a person without Googlelife is our modern equivalent of a vampire with no image in a mirror. Many others have tried to track down Amanda. They point their accusing fingers at Brian Connolly, who shares trollish tendencies and IP addresses — and an unusual interest in a certain PR company — but who denies it. I don’t much care.

What interests me is why someone goes to all this trouble to troll. What’s the agenda? Who’s the real target? If this were terribly sophisticated it could be an effort to spoof and ridicule bloggers or PR people. Naw. It could, indeed, be performance art or a book proposal: How I fooled those damned bloggers. It could be someone who hates PR people trying to make them look bad. It could be a case of missing some meds (or secretly longing for a sex-change operation). It could be a vast PR conspiracy to say what PR people have to be too polite to say — after all, Amanda, Chris the alleged intern, and this guy Connolly all hail from Chicago. Coincidence? Yeah. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories; the world’s not that organized. I think this is simpler: Amanda has a hard-on for Edelman. “She” attacked Steve Rubel when he joined them; she went after me only after Richard Edelman defended me against Chris the alleged intern. I have a suspicion that Amanda lost a few clients or a job to Edelman. Who cares?

But this vendetta or spoof, whatever it is, takes a great deal of effort. Amanda’s site is elaborate and she clearly has lots of time or little life and can spend what she has leaving theatrical snark on blogs all over. The troll lives to attack. Like Hezbollah or Al Qaeda, they lurk in the shadows and strike for sport, never building, only destroying. The troll is usually chickenshit, hiding from plain view and open conversation. I don’t get that. I have too much ego not to say what I have to say under my own name.

What amuses me most about this show is that Nick Carr thinks he has found his soulmate: a marriage of trolls. I fear that he’s in for a surprise not unlike those shlubs who think they’re going dating on Dateline. Your dream girl isn’t what you think. She’s all silicone.

: UPDATE: See the comments or this post above: Amanda exposed.