Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Economist: Does Rise of Scoble Herald the Death of PR?

"Does Robert Scoble, a celebrity blogger on Microsoft's payroll, herald the death of traditional public relations?" breathlessly asks The Economist.

That's an easy question. The answer is an unequivocal "no." Blogging is simply the newest, shiniest tool in the PR toolbox.

The panting continues, "His example might mark the beginning of the end of “corporate communications” as we know it." But in the last three paragraphs, Scoble concedes that there will always be a place for traditional PR. "The truth is, nobody yet knows how corporate blogging will evolve," is the eventual conclusion of the article.


I'm beginning to think we need to create an anti-defamation league for the public relations industry that will jump into mob blog action every time the media resorts to stereotypes, lazy generalizations or--in the case of this Economist article--a sloppy, wet lead that is written to pull readers in, regardless of the actual truth laid out in the complete story.

The other night I was watching CSI or Law and Order, it's easy to forget which, and the show had a perky, blond, PR bunny mom who spouted lines like, "Look, I work in PR, I know how the world works!" She's so evil, you're supposed to think she's the killer. But guess what? It's the innocent kid who killed the drug dealer, not Evil Incarnate.

"You Know Times are Tough for PR When...

"The Cylon mole on Galactica is....the dweeby PR guy!" notes Elizabeth Albrycht, who says she is, "severly depressed that PR is now the popular icon for traitor/badguy."

If we jumped into action each and every time PR is associated with the sinister and the sleazy, then the purveyors of pop culture will move on to villainize easier targets.

How about those dentists?