Archive for October, 2007

Hugh MacLeod is Hilarious & Insightful

Control the conversation-notI know that I am not the first to realize it, but this guy just rocks. 

The tyrrany of the righteous, laid bare, made funny.




When I saw this cartoon today, I sputtered with laughter.  Coffee dang near spewed out of my nose.

(And if you’ve ever seen my nose up close, you’ve now got all the Halloween imagery you need to be very, very afraid.)

Guest Post: Should All Releases Have Disclaimers on “Intent to Promote a Product?”

The following post was written by our own Chris Iafolla, in Boston.  It was originally published at our staff blog, UnSpun.  I tweeted it tonight and got some supportive comments back… and since I am going to be out o’ pocket tomorrow, I thought I’d post Chris’s words here.  If thoughtful & compelling content like this doesn’t getcha’ to check out our UnSpun blog, I dunno what will!

Here’s Chris …

Row1-2After reading Tom Foremski’s post suggesting that all press releases be marked “Not to Be Distributed by News Aggregators” I hesitated to write this post, because my initial reaction was driven by emotion and not rational thought.  After sitting on it for almost a week, I found that many of my initial thoughts still persisted.

Let me start off by saying that I respect Tom Foremski.  Some of his posts have led to important changes in the PR industry.  In addition, I don’t think Tom believes that all PR people are out to deceive or manipulate the system.  That being said, I think he might have overstepped his bounds a little bit on this one.

First, let’s look at Tom’s underlying message that journalists are independent, objective reporters of the news.  This is certainly the intent of a free press in a democratic nation, but I think most of us can agree it is not the outcome.  You mean to tell me that the New York Times is not a liberal slanted paper, and the Wall Street Journal is not a conservative slanted paper?  Taking a leap of faith and calling the stories of journalists unbiased would be an injustice.

Now that I got that off my chest, down to the PR part of this.

There is a sweeping assumption made here that all PR people are out to deceive—plain not true.  Are advertisers required to put a statement across the front of their ads saying this information is intended to promote the products of XYZ company?  In most cases: no.  Discerning people understand the dynamic at play.  And aren’t we already disclosing the source of the content?  Content written by a journalist has a byline from a journalist.  Company press releases are marked as such, and have company and PR contacts listed.  Is this not transparency?  My other issue with Tom’s post is the idea that press releases are not news.  If a journalist writes a story based on my client’s announcement in a press release, how is that not news?  It may not be the same “spin” (yes, journalists spin too) that a reporter might put on it, but it is the story my client believes is important to the industry.

I do appreciate the need to uphold ethical business practices.  But, Tom’s intended goal (in his own words) is to “allow people to make their own judgment on the quality of the content.”   By putting a disclaimer across the top that says our purpose is to promote a product, are we not cheapening the message contained in that release?  In effect, we would be removing any hope of allowing a consumer to judge the quality of the content because we are telling them up front that we have a hidden agenda.


Rundown By Luke Armour

Fa15b04c-7231-4290-abfa-bb9c86f17b94TheRundownI’ll be interviewed by the bright & funny Luke Armour at 1:30pm ET today, on BlogTalkRadio

Luke sends me, by far, some of the funniest emails so I am looking forward to a good laugh.

According to Luke we’ll be discussing “the social media press release, the state of public relations and life on both U.S. coasts.”  All topics worthy of a good laugh, depending on whom you ask. 


IStock_000003843518XSmallGeoff Livingston tagged me to participate in Jeremiah Owyang’s “media snack” meme. 

Jeremiah asks:  “Do you respect media snackers? … folks who consume small bits of information, data or entertainment when, where and how they want?  If you want to be part of their lives you’ve got to respect them…”

How I respect the mediasnackers:

  • I microblog at  Random bits of news, commentary, jokes, etc.
  • More often than not, I try to keep my posts here at PR-Squared to a 2–minute read.  Yes, I’ve “timed” this more than once.
  • I try not to post more than 2 – 3X a week.  I ain’t brilliant enough to do this daily.  Also, I use more paragraph breaks (and bullet points) than necessary, to trick your eyes into thinking that this’ll be a quickie read!  
  • I don’t vlog or podcast.  Call me a Luddite but I am too much of a mediasnacker myself to find time to watch 2–minute videos or listen to podcasts!  Too much of a time commitment.  And so since I rarely consume such material myself, I figure my audience is just as busy and distracted, so I don’t go there. 

I think of myself as more of a grazer than a snacker.  While it’s true I avoid pod– and videocasts, I am a voracious reader.  Every morning I sniff through the RSS feeds, looking for tasty morsels.  Length is unimportant; I am more interested in what I can learn.  Sometimes I learn more from a long, thoughtful post (so don’t sweat keeping those blog posts “tight and concise,” Jeremiah!) … It’s gotten to a point where I can barely start my workday until 10:30am because I’ve spent 90 minutes catching up on the blogosphere!  That’s not snacking – that’s grazing, fer shure.

This is the part where I tag some other folks for the meme.  How about Todd VanHoosear, ToddAnd (just to get all the Todd’s-of-the-Blogs covered in one fell swoop), and, Brian Solis, Kate Trgovac, Chris Lynn and Joseph Thornley?

More Reasons to Participate @ PR-Squared

IStock_000004160101XSmallThe PR-Squared blog will be overhauled in the very near future. 

Part of the makeover is already in place:

My tech guy removed the “no follow” and “redirect” when it comes to leaving your comments at the blog. 

(Don’t ask me why we didn’t do this 4 years ago.  No clue.  Not my area.)

So, now when you include a URL in your comment (associated with your name), it will “count” as a link from PR-Squared to your own site, in Technorati, et al.  

So join in the fun!  Don’t just lurk!  Sound off & reap the rewards of participation (and linklove).

Show some social media love would ya?

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