PR: I like this…

I got an e-mail from Anna Tabakh from 5WPR on behalf of Predicto.

Often PR people cross the line when they’re trying to quickly take advantage of an event – think companies who have jumped on natural disasters etc. but I like this stunt.

You’ve probably heard of Dena Christoffersen, a 13 year old who ran up a $5,000 texting bill by sending 20,000 messages in a month.

Predicto are stepping in to pay the bill with one condition:

In exchange, Predicto Mobile has requested that Dena write a 1,000 word essay on “smart texting,” offering fellow teen text enthusiasts insight into what she learned from the experience and how her habits might change moving forward.  The essay will be posted on the Predicto Mobile’s blog as a way for parents and texters to learn from the costly error. 

I don’t know much about the company or their services.  At my age I’m wary of any mobile service, but I like this.

Strumpette: Light PR touch paper and stand back…

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:


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.