Edelman cited in top dumb business move of 2006

I like Edelman. I really do. I like Richard and think he’s a smart guy who understands the social media landscape. I like the people I know who work there. I like some of them a lot. But it seems that the hits just keep on coming for the world’s largest independent PR agency. Business 2.0 has just unveiled its 101 Dumbest Moments in Business for 2006, and topping the chart is the Wal-Mart campaign that turned the smiley-faced icon into a political candidate. Edelman’s involvement is noted in the very first sentence:

In an attempt to put a smiley face on its tarnished image, Wal-Mart hires heavy-hitting public relations firm Edelman,…

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Are we a “profession?”

In a comment to the social media press release post, the always thoughtful Jay Rosen makes this point:

...it is unwise (meaning self-deceptive) for corporate PR people to call themselves a ???profession.??? A profession gains a cetain amount of autonomy due to widespread respect for a body of knowledge the professional commands.  Absent those two things, the term ???professional??? loses substantive meaning and becomes simply a bid for higher status.  Neither the autonomy nor the respect-for-knowledge are there for PR, most of the time.  But in America, everyone believes that if you???re not called a professional then you are being…

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Movin’ on

Frankly, I thought the “press-release-is-dead” meme was over a year or so ago after the delightful Amy Gahran and I engaged in some friendly disagreement about it. What goes around, I suppose, comes around.

Stowe Boyd and I will have to agree to disagree. And he’s welcome to think I don’t “get it” (a phrase, by the way, I despise as much as Stowe dislikes “audience” and “content.”) I continue to think Stowe rocks. If you’re not reading his blog, you should be. But in this case, Stowe has incomplete information and knowledge of his subject, leading him to pass judgement on a tool he doesn’t understand but thinks he does. As I said… Read More »

Throwing out the tool with the blogwater

Warning! Long post follows.

For me, one of the great frustrations of working in the PR profession is the number of people who think they understand it without the benefit of any background in it. Public relations is a field in which scholars devote their lives to researching models and theories. You can earn a doctorate in PR. The field of PR research has exploded to align effort with results. Associations collect volumes of case studies and analyses. The body of literature that comprises the study of PR is vast and rich.

Yet there is no shortage of people who have never studied the business, never read a single textbook, never… Read More »

PR Newswire adds Technorati button to press releases. I’m confused.

I’m not sure what to make of the announcement that PR Newswire press releases will now include a Technorati button.

On the one hand, it’s great that one of the giants of news release distribution services is expanding the scope of its social media integration (PR Newswire is among several such services that, for instance, offer a del.icio.us button). On the other hand, I’m curious why this required a “partnership” (as Technorati honcho Dave Sifry called it in his blog post). Why couldn’t PR Newswire simply add the link? I’ve done it several times with various social media press releases I’ve produced, as have several others. In fact,… Read More »

When company bloggers aren’t enough

The beating Microsoft is taking in the blogosphere and elsewhere over a patent filing leads me to wonder whether this isn’t an instance where some solid, formal communication might be in order. Leaving it to Microsoft’s employee blogging force doesn’t seem to be doing much good.

The kerfuffle erupted when the patent filings from June 2005 became public on Christmas Day when a year-and-a-half privacy window expired. Quickly, the web and blogosophere began proclaiming headlines like this one, from All Headline News:

“Microsoft Reportedly Tries to Patent RSS”

A Technorati search for Microsoft, RSS, and patent turns up 2,391 posts.… Read More »

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