PR Misc – February 08, 2005


Things have been, and continue to be, a little crazy work wise, which is a limp excuse for a significant lack of posting recently.  Hopefully things will return to normal later in the week, in the meantime I can relax in the knowledge that there’s loads of interesting PR/Marketing posting going on elsewhere.  Here’s just a taster…..

 In the aftermath of various people and organizations failing to disclose their vested interests, Andy Lark wonders aloud about transparency for communicators.  There’s no doubt this is a growing issue, particularly in the ever changing web of content, links and opinions, but is there a way forward?  Andy, building on David Berlind’s idea of a Journalist’s Online Transparency System (JOTS), suggests a Public Relations Online Transparency System (PROTS).

“PROTS would cover a whole range of ground. It might include protocols for using third party spokespeople. And the use of anonymous spokespeople. In this instance, transparency is greater than anonymity. In other words, say who you are, what your title is and what you are saying. Don’t hide behind the veil of “spokesperson”.”

(David has some additional thinking on JOTS here.)


 Trevor Cook reports that, following his acceptance of an invitation to participate in a panel session at a Hill & Knowlton briefing on blogging, the invitation was rescinded because:

“….management didn’t feel ‘comfortable with presenting someone from a competitive agency as a speaker at one of our own events’.”

Petty, and ridiculous are words that jump to mind.  Why invite him in the first place? Is it any wonder PR practitioners aren’t taken seriously….


 Trevor also has posted an interview with Gerry McCusker, author of Talespin, a book on PR disasters.

“Talespin came to me after a non-PR pal got enmeshed in a PR disaster and when he relayed his plight, I wondered how many other people had had similar brushes with PR gaffes. Research showed there were numerous cases. And as someone who’s proud of my PR career, I wanted to show the complexity and perils of the PR arena so that people realised the skillset involved in executing good PR and the pitfalls we face. And if the book strikes people as an informative and enjoyable read, then that’s great, too.”


 Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson have released their sixth PR podcast (you should really be listening to these). This week’s installment includes discussion on the Superbowl, Armstrong Williams, Steven Phenix’s call for PR people to stand up and be counted and an interview with Noah Acres.


 Phil Gomes has a very interesting post on why he’s not prepared to defend PR – because it doesn’t need it…

“So, I’m answering this blogosphere-wide question by not answering it: I have absolutely nothing to apologize for, or defend, by working in public relations. There is a very high probability that you don’t either. Is PR “necessary?” Well, I have a role in business and the mediasphere and I do my best within that role. Like I said earlier, on most days I even enjoy it. That’s good enough for me. I have engaged in my profession honestly, holding the needs of my clients and a resolute respect for the mediasphere in the absolute highest regard. Likely, so have you.”


 Personally I never know how to handle these things on this blog, but I think it’s worth noting that David Parmet, a PR practitioner, contributor to Gaping Void and someone who often adds a lot of value by way of comments to my regular ramblings has been let go. If anyone needs some PR brain power they should look his direction. Proof that every cloud has a silver lining, David plans to kick off a specific PR-Marketing blog in the near future.

“I�ve been in and out of the PR agency world since 1997. I�ve seen the boom, the bust and the alleged recovery. I�ve worked with some folks who �get it� and some who think that controlling the message is what we are supposed to do…. There�s a lot of fear in the air. The agencies fear the clients, the media and the real possibility of missing the Next Big Thing�.”