Safeguarding the brand of you

Far too many young PR professionals have inflicted ‘image’ wounds on themselves, their agencies andWired
their clients by not grasping the subtleties of digital communications. Now comes further proof that the image you save may be your own.

Hundreds of ‘lazy’ publicists were just ousted by Wired. Their transgression: not familiarizing themselves with either the publication or the individual Wired editors. As punishment, the editor listed each and every offender’s e-mail address and said he’d blacklist them moving forward. Sadly, this public humiliation will now follow these individuals as they move from job to job.

Haste makes waste (as does sloppiness). Wired was right for calling out the lazy publicists. It’s a painful, but hopefully productive way for these individuals to learn the importance of safeguarding ‘the brand of you.’

Thanks to Stephanie Chaney for the idea.

6 thoughts on “Safeguarding the brand of you

  1. LOL- I wasn’t comparing drunks to PR professionals! My bubbly point was that sometimes ‘outing’ wrong-doers makes them, and others think twice before they, in this case, hit “send.” It is too easy to pound out something inappropriate without thinking it through. I still think the Wired ed was fed up and not so wrong to point out what is clearly a major pain in his butt.

  2. Bubbbles: Not sure you can put drunk driving and other illegal activities on the same scale as forgetting (or being too lazy) to personalize every email pitch you send out. Again, I’m not agreeing with PR spam, trust me, it make MY life as a communications professional that much more difficult and hurts the credibility of our industry as a whole. But a lifelong ban and public outing is a bit much.
    Steve, Agreed a very slippery slope indeed. Having become friends with a few editors through my work, you really get to see both sides. They need us, we need them, though I hate to be cliche, don’t bite the hand that feeds and that goes both ways.

  3. It’s a slippery slope to be sure, Jackie. Further fanning the flames is the love-hate relationship between PR and the media. While editors and reporters count on us for their story ideas and, in some cases, content, they’re loathe to admit it. This public bashing is just the latest example of a media player in a power position taking full advantage.

  4. Actually I think public embarrassment can be rather effective, much like publishing the names of drunk drivers, or those who frequent “escort” services in the newspaper. It may not stem the tide, but certainly will assure you do not have repeat offenders. And Ed I don’t agree that the Wired editor should be shaking in his boots with concerns about retribution. Hopefully the dopes who sent these e-mails will see the error of their ways and accept the fact that they were wrong and unprofessional.

  5. I’m in no way defending lazy PR, especially as a young PR professional who takes great pride in guarding my personal brand, but were Mr. Anderson’s actions really necessary? I’m on the fence with that one. Is public embarrassment really the most productive way of educating? Doubtful.

  6. On the other hand, this editor did something (calling them out) that’s just plain mean. He’s in a powerful position and I think he absolutely abused that power (and it seems like he enjoyed doing it),
    Life is short. Editors come and go and someday he might be in a position where he needs a favor, or a job. Watch out….because what goes around comes around. Some 300 people have been hugely embarrassed and I’m sure they wouldn’t hesitate to return the flavor.