Tom Murphy – Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy blogging about PR and other things since 2002…

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Strumpette: Light PR touch paper and stand back…

January 13th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Public Relations

Back in 2006, Strumpette appeared on the PR blogging scene, an anonymous site that promised to dish the dirt on the industry.  Of course its anonymity gave it free reign and it didn’t hold back.

imageAs I recall, the response from PR bloggers at the time was mixed, with some welcoming a more caustic look at the business and with others feeling it crossed the line more often than not.

Bill Sledzik has just published the first of 17 interview shorts with Brian Connolly (pictured right), the creator of Strumpette, which is sure to reignite some heated discussion on the matter.

Personally I’m somewhat conflicted. 

I think the PR community can often be a little too precious.  We don’t necessarily react well to criticism.  We’re often a little too defensive -  too often. 

It’s no harm to have things shaken up from time to time.

On the other hand, I think Strumpette was over the top.

It took some pretty cowardly shots at people from behind its online moniker. Rather than being pithy and clever, it was too often just grinding out its own agenda, which was simply character assassination.

Some of the comments on Bill’s post have described Strumpette as “real”, “legitimate” and pointed out that it had “courage”.  I don’t believe it was or had any of these things.

I mean, Connolly used to deny it was him, see this clip from the Washington Post blog:

image

But eh…it was him. Not a lot of courage there.

Anyhow, Strumpette did mix things up for a little while, which was probably no bad thing.  I imagine a lot of people are pretty bitter about the whole project, but it’ll be interesting to hear Connolly’s side of the story.

It’s all about balance, something Strumpette probably missed. For smart, funny and caustic commentary, the UK’s “The World’s Leading” (RIP) was more my cup of tea.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Stuart Bruce

    Absolutely. I was a TWL addict. It was clever,sarcastic and funny. I laughed, even when it was at my expense! But Stumpette had a nasty/sleazy undertone that just didn’t do anything for me.

  • Tom Murphy

    Stuart I couldn’t agree more!
    TM

  • Bill Sledzik

    Can’t disagree with what you’ve said here, Tom. But I can take issue with WordPress, as your link only came through yesterday! Sorry to be so late on the uptake.

    Yes, Amanda was mean-spirited, and she certainly didn’t show courage. But let’s be fair. Strumpette was simple parody, albeit unfair and at times nasty. But I think those who got upset over Strumpette may have been taking themselves and our business a bit too seriously. PR has long had an inferiority complex that goes back to our roots as shills and hucksters. Amanda exposed some of that.

    Do people really care about Strumpette? I’m not sure. While the series has driven traffic to my blog, it has triggered little discussion in the comment boxes. Perhaps even those who enjoyed Strumpette see her has yesterday’s news. Regardless, it was a fun series to do and — for better or worse — it provides documentation on a Web 2.0 phenomenon that folks will talk about for some time.

  • Tom Murphy

    Hi Bill,

    I know the WordPress trackback thing is really poor – I have the same issue all the time :-)

    I also agree on people taking themselves too seriously, and I agree that it’s a very interesting and worthwhile project :-) Well done.

    On the other hand I wasn’t a great fan of Strumpette I thought it veered into mean spirit without the humour… But sure that’s the nature of humour you can’t keep everyone happy :-)

    TM

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