PR Opinions is on vacation…

Ah yes, just as the Summer is coming to a close (we’re not sure we had a Summer here), PR Opinions is heading off on a much needed vacation until September 14th, 2004.

Should you require some up to date PR news, opinions and information in the meantime, you should visit the wide variety of PR blogs listed to the right.

I’m completely offline until the 14th!

PR Misc August 31 2004

 PR Pro Brian Schwartz, who works at CDW, has kicked off a blog called Reporters’ Gold, which is aimed at providing journalists with an aggregated source of industry research and other information.*

 Constantin Basturea has put together a fantastic Wiki that lists CEO blogs

 Bacon’s (nee MediaMap) Expert PR newsletter has long been a staple source of PR articles and how-to’s.  The latest issue covers improving the accuracy of news coverage, online newsroomsblogs, building lasting media relationships, corporate messaging,  pitching online editors, tips on being a good TV spokesperson. There’s something there for everyone!

 Matthew Podboy takes a look at measuring online PR and Angelo Fernando looks at measuring word of mouth.

 A new global survey on PR measurement has been announced.

 Edelman’s Silicon Valley office has picked up a nice account win with the Churchill Club.

 Be careful out there…Mike Manuel notes another blog victim.  Joyce Parks has lost her job at Friendster for…. her blog.


* Thanks to Steve Rubel for the link.

Some technology-related stuff…

 Larry Osterman is a long-time engineer over at Microsoft and he has a really interesting blog post that reviews his twenty year stint at the world’s largest software company. It’s a walk down memory lane. “I�ve watched three different paradigm shifts occur in the software industry, and most of a fourth.  The first one was the shift of real computing to �personal� computers.  The second was the GUI revolution, the third was the internet, and now we�re seeing a shift to smaller devices.  We�re still not done with that one.”

 Martin Tobias over at the VentureBlog explains what he wants from the next generation of the Web. He also examines the benefits or otherwise of some recent technological advances.  He asks a number of questions:

“1. Over the last five to seven years has technology increased or decreased your personal productivity?
2. Increased or decreased your overall quality of life?
3. Strengthened or weakened your interpersonal and family relationships?”

 Meanwhile Karen Richardson, CEO of E.piphany is interviewed over at the BBC. There is no short way or quick remedy to success, just do it the right way even if it takes a little longer.”

 I see that Novell have another management re-org taking place. Novell is a company with potential, marrying their SUSE acquistion with their traditional network management strengths would seem to have a lot of potential.  The question is can they turn the ship around…

 CNET has an interesting article from the Harvard Business School on how smaller players can survive in competition with the big boys and girls. The essence of a niche strategy is to achieve specialization by taking explicit advantage of the opportunities provided by the ecosystem while avoiding the kinds of traps that challenge firms in such environments.”


Thanks to Neville Hobson and Greg Brooks for some of the links.

PR Misc August 30, 2004

 Kevin Dugan takes Forbes to task on their ignorance of RSS.

 Jeremy Pepper writes in favor of Blogservations and fair play to him.

 Steve Rubel shares the results of a PR Week online poll covering the topic of whether you should allow comments on a corporate blog. [30% allow them, 16% keep relevant comments, 14% review all comments, Require e-mail from posters 33% and Don’t allow comments 5%]

 Neville Hobson is a big fan of Ned Lundquist’s JOTW which was recently features in the WSJ. You can sign up for JOTW here.

 Mike Manuel has a tabular comparison of blogs and message boards.

 Shel Holtz tackles the thorny subject of employee communications: “I would suggest that the internal communications profession needs to take a hard look at itself and figure out how to turn this situation around, lest management find someone else who can produce the results they need.”

  The Toronto Free Press questions PR firms’ involvement in some recent political events.  It claims that PR firms have been involved in some questionable practices *which* if true are outrageous.  However, the article itself has little or no facts and the only involvement of the accused firms is a third party quote pulled from a French magazine.  It’s hardly balanced, factual journalism…

Rewarding "good" blog relations…

Although the subject matter�which reinforces some less attractive sterotypes about our business�may not be to everyone’s taste, a new book is now available with a PR/Spin Doctor/Flack type individual as the central hero (anti-hero).

The storyline of “Slick” concerns our hero’s [A rising star in the world of public relations, Scott is a master at manipulating the news, especially when the news isn’t good for his clients. To journalists, he’s the dark prince of deception. To others, he’s merely the product of an amoral corporate culture. Not that their opinions matter to Scott, who shelved his ego years ago. It’s the only way to stay sane in a business that gets crazier by the day.] efforts at saving an actress’ reputation.

Why am I promoting the book here? Well it is PR-related�for better or worse�and its author Daniel Price did a nice PR pitch on me (and I’m sure many of the other PR bloggers).

Why was it good?

  • It was personalized
  • It was humourous
  • It was very honest
  • It was creative

So if we’re going to complain about bad blog pitches we should praise the good ones.  Well done Daniel and best of luch with the pitch. The book sounds like a perfect present for Lizzie.

Here is a link to the opening pages of the novel.

PR, blogs and death…

I have to admit that I am in two minds about this post.

Let me explain.

Roland Tanglao has posted an outline of his presentation to communications agency Reputations.

It’s a very good introduction to blogging with lots of resources. My problem is with the presentation’s title:

PR is dead & Blogging Killed it

You see, the presentation outline doesn’t map to that theme at all. There’s no explanation or demonstration as to why or how blogging is “killing” PR.  The closest is this quote:

“Provocative and perhaps hyperbole and not going to happen overnight but “don’t overestimate the impact of blogging in the short term and underestimate it in the long term”

You see this kind of hype is damaging for blogs. 

Blogs are simply a tool.  That’s it folks. A tool. 

That’s not to say that blogs are not important.  They are.  Blogs help to build conversations and promote new types of communication.  This is all good.  But to say blogs will kill, damage, hurt or blow rasberries at PR is just rubbish.

Blogs will sit alongside a whole host of traditional and emerging marketing practices from newsletter sponsorship to media tours to advertising and search optimization.

PR has challenges in understanding the emerging new forms of communication, but don’t be distracted by the hyperbole. Focus on understanding how these new tools can help your clients. The rest will follow.

Blogvertorials are not a good idea…

Jim Horton has a great post on the folly of trying to link blog postings with advertising dollars.

Blogversations have launched an initiative where they will effectively act as an agent between advertisers and bloggers. 

The business plan is as follows: Advertisers will suggest topics to blog on and then bloggers will either accept or reject the opportunity to blog on that particular topic – but according to Blogservations it’s not an advertorial…. huh?

“Evil is a shortsighted strategy. If bloggers sell out, they lose readers; if they lose readers, we lose sponsors. The pie shrinks for everyone. That’s why we don’t want bloggers to sell out. If you’re a blogger in our network, you always retain control over your blog; you’re always free to reject any proposed discussion or sponsorship which you’re not comfortable with. The power stays in your hands.”

If anyone know the folks over at Blogservations they should point them at the “wonderful” new book on “PR without BS”.

Of course this is advertorial. What is advertorial? Sponsor-supported content. This is no different. I doubt any blogger with an audience would dare to participate in this rubbish. Unless of course they want to lose their audience.

The good news is that this is doomed to fail. PR people often have a horrendous time trying to legitimately reach out to bloggers. How do you think those same bloggers will react to the idea of being paid by an advertiser to write on a pre-specified topic?



PR: The good, the bad and the smelly

The Good..

Following on from the positive news from the Council of Public Relations on billings for the first quarter of this year, WPP the large marketing conglomerate has announced that the revenue of its PR firms, which include Burson Marsteller, Ogilvy PR and Cohn & Wolfe, have risen 7.3% in the first six months of the year.

The Bad…

A new PR book is out titled “PR Without BS: The Practical Handbook of Ethical Public Relations”. So what angle did the author and publishers decide for the launch press release?

“Public Relations and Honesty Can Co-Exist, Says New Book”

Gee, I must buy the book to find out. Looks like they forgot to write the press release “without BS”.

The Smelly…

If you thought the PR profession had image problems, what about PR job applicants? UK PR recruitment specialist, VMA Group has published the results of a survey of PR employers and the findings were somewhat alarming.  When asked for their top issues with PR job applicants they listed: farting, smelling of alcohol, yawning, biting finger nails, taking shoes off and excessive scratching and sniffing as common issues… sounds like every PR practitioner I ever knew… More at HR Gateway.

Things can only get better…

I treat broad industry research the same whether it’s positive or negative

The latest PR industry research from the Council of Public Relations found that there was a 13% rise in agency fees in Q1 of this year.

“It’s evident we’ve seen a dramatic increase in our business during the last six months,” said Michael Miller, president of Brown Miller Communications Inc. in Martinez. His agency provides public relations for agriculture, nonprofits, foundations and government.

Now this is good news, but I wouldn’t go putting the champagne on ice just yet. Let’s not forget that at the beginning of the year it was all doom and gloom.

Things are getting better, but let’s take it one step at a time. 


Thanks to Ben Silverman for the link.