Thursday, February 17, 2005

Moving to a new blog

Pardon the disruption. However, from this point further I'll be posting over on my new blog on TypePad.

For all new posts, please go to: http://phenixrising.typepad.com.

Thanks.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Hurray for Hobson and Holtz

My gadget envy knows no bounds. With the introduction of just about every new technology, I become covetous.

Website? Got to have one.

iPod? Where can I get one?

Blog? Sign me up.

Tablet PC? Here, just take my checkbook.

But I don't want to podcast and that's due to Shel Holz and Neville Hobson. For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report--the dynamic duos' now bi-weekly podcasts, are so well produced that the barrier to entry is insurmountable.

I could never match the quality, so I won't even try. 8-)

Nice job, fellas. Keep up the good work.

PS--I do, however, (co-opting an old joke) have a face made for podcasting. So if you blokes are ever short of a guest to interview, you know where to find me!

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No. 3 in the series: John Wagner's Positive PR

With so much negative publicity regarding public relations lately, I feel it's important to keep highlighting was is good, clean and just within our industry.

So here's a shout out to John Wagner, a fellow Texan and owner of Wagner Communications. John authors the On Message blog and two of his recent postings really gave me a lift.

Here, John ponders a novel way to change the image of PR.

And here, he writes about what he loves about his work and the importance of being the conscience of organization.

Contrary to what recent headlines might suggest, our industry is really filled with good people like John.


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public relations

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Monday, February 14, 2005

Public Relations Officially Dies on March 10

If you thought the whole Ketchum scandal was bad for the reputation of the public relations industry, just wait till PoweR Girls begins airing on MTV, March 10th.

According to MTV's site, "The life of a PoweR Girl at Lizzie Grubman's New York City PR firm is sometimes glamorous, sometimes stressful but always exciting. Watch as Rachel, Kelly, Millie and Ali plan nightclub openings and album launches, hobnob with celebrities, wrangle the paparazzi, pitch Page Six and shop, all while fighting for a permanent spot on Lizzie's team. Don't miss the drama take over their lives as these four young ladies try to take over the celebrity party circuit all under the watchful eye of Lizzie on PoweR Girls."



I'll leave you to make up your own jokes about this show, a line of people outside of a disco and CSI New York.

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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Ouch: Spinning Frenzy: P.R.'s Bad Press

Everyone in public relations will be talking about this this article in today's New York Times:

Spinning Frenzy: P.R.'s Bad Press

Unlike the recent story in The Economist about Robert Scoble, this article by Timothy O'Brien captures all the complexities of public relations. Unlike the bulk of the population, Mr. O'Brien knows what we do and how we do it.

This article is a fair and balanced and damning assessment of the whole Ketchum pundit payola scandal.

And O'Brien makes the point that we here in the PR blogging community have been making all along:

"Since Omnicom made this statement, it and Ketchum have remained silent, a risky tactic given that public relations wisdom traditionally holds that staying quiet during a crisis only prolongs media scrutiny and creates an appearance of culpability.

'They should have come clean right away and not tried to pin all of this on Williams,' said Paul A. Argenti, a professor of corporate communications at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. 'It's an example of the same kind of bad advice they give their clients every day.'"

Ouch.

Jack O'Dwyer, as well, gets in a good shot:

"Yet it is Ketchum's imbroglio with Mr. Williams and the Education Department that seems to have struck a particularly indignant nerve among some longtime public relations analysts. 'This is the Three Mile Island of the P.R. business,' said Jack O'Dwyer, a public relations gadfly in New York who heads a research firm and publishes a newsletter bearing his name. 'The industry began selling its soul when it sold out to these advertising companies because the public relations business should be about the truth, not about sales.'"

For me, the most enlightening part of this article was the discussion on the struggle for the soul of PR in almost Star Warsian terms of The Dark Side and The Force:

"In the 1920's, Edward Bernays, a relative of Sigmund Freud, led publicists into new waters by emphasizing psychological research and advocating the use of seemingly objective third-party authorities to sway public opinion. He professionalized the business while introducing other new forms of manipulation, like establishing bogus front groups to promote the benefits of smoking.

"Arthur Page, an in-house public relations adviser to ATandT from the 1920's through the 1940's, embraced the concept of good corporate citizenship and pushed ATandT to be open and honest in its press dealings. The tension between proponents of Bernays-like manipulation and Page-style transparency has existed in the business ever since."

May The Force be with us.

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