Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

A Blogger Evangelizing Mobile Products is a Moron

Now that’s an interesting headline for Monday’s RSS readers. Of course I took a liberty with it because I’m sure that most bloggers evangelizing mobile products aren’t morons but one of them is borderline.

Now as the few poor regular readers of this blog know, I am never shy calling foul on silly, ignorant or mis-guided attempts at PR and/or blog relations. On the other hand, I also strongly believe that when someone makes ill-founded criticisms of our profession those criticisms should be addressed.

That’s the subject of this rant.

Russell Beattie is a self-proclaimed saviour of the blogosphere. He is on his crusade armed with nothing more than ignorance in his left hand and irony on his right.

Russell tells us in his post last Friday that:

PR People are Morons

“Russell the brave” tells us:

“But arrived they (PR people) have and now the signal to noise ratio seems to be skyrocketing in the wrong direction. I mean, the great thing about blogging is we were finally able to cut out these morons and get to the opinions and ideas of the people who actually contribute to the world! Yet now these bullshit artists are sort of weasling their way back into the conversation somehow and it’s annoying. And don’t misunderstand, these people aren’t trying to participate in the conversation, they’re trying to “influence” it.”

He continues:

“But beyond these morons, are the PR Bloggers who claim to “get it” or at least understand blogging in general and are now spewing uninformed idiocy out onto the world. Follow the links on these pages and it’s essentially, a how to guide on how to manipulate bloggers, or how your company should start a blog and how that would in turn help you manipulate your customers and media. These blogs aren’t worth the kilobytes they’re taking up on some hard disk somewhere.”

Now let’s start at the end.

Ladies and Gentlmen, I am a PR blogger and I have been blogging for over three years. In those three years and thousands of posts I have never, ever claimed that I “get it”. In fact reading other PR blogs in the intervening period I don’t recall any of the hundreds of PR bloggers claiming they “get it”. But Russ (pronounced Russ) never let’s the facts get in the way of a good post.

So here are some salient points for Russ, unfortunately he’ll never read them because visiting this URL would only soil Russ’ clean and ethical browsing experience:

  • Who appointed you keeper of the blog flame?
  • If you took the time to step out from your rash generalizations and (shock horror) did some research you’d find that most PR people share your sentiments regarding untargeted pitches and the sometimes uneducated practices of other PR professionals.
  • Clearly from your post, you believe that you “get” blogging. To be honest that’s hardly a claim to intellectual superiority is it? I mean there are twelve year olds who “get” blogging – it’s not very hard Russ
  • Why is it that you believe that people (not very different to you) working in PR can’t “get” blogging? – Were you bullied when you were a PR intern at IBM? – Were YOU a moron then? Are you a recovered moron now? Were you just not very good at your job?
  • According to your very detailed resume, you are currently an evanglist. Doesn’t that mean your are peddling your employer’s mobile services and products for a living by communicating with people? How exactly does that differ from PR? How is what you are saying more trustworthy?
  • Have you told your colleagues in the PR department that they are morons? Are you a popular co-worker?

OK Russ here’s some reality for your little blog ivory tower:

  • PR has its problems, you can read about them here and on any of the many blogs on the left hand side of this page. We address those problems regularly and constructively.
  • Good PR people are getting involved in conversations. They are helping companies to communicate effectively with their audience(s) using a wide array of channels from internal communications, to face-to-face meetings, to analysts, the media and sometimes even blogs.
  • There is no barrier to entry in blogging. There is no intellectual challenge in starting a blog and sharing your opinions. To insinuate that your world of blogging is superior to someone else’s based on their career is crass and stupid
  • There are many examples of ham fisted attempts by PR people at pitching blogs – there are also examples of PR people who have done a good job building conversations with people via blogs – at least the PR people who write blogs acknowledge these things
  • If you are going to “delete e-mail from PR people and not link to their sites, does that constitute building a conversation Russ? I link to people I agree and disagree with. I don’t typically have my head that deep in the sand.
  • Finally, given you are paid to “evangelize” your employer’s products and services, can you explain to a simple-minded PR blogger how what you are saying is more relevant, trustworthy and interesting than anyone else paid to promote products and services on behalf of their employer?

I don’t expect a response Russ, I am a PR blogger. In your world that means I am a moron. Unfortunately we morons have opinions too and just like you, we can post our ill-informed nonsense on the Internet. This blogging thing is a real bummer isn’t it?

Evangelize that

Written by Tom Murphy

July 11, 2005 at 8:12 am

Posted in General

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