Dec 19

Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap

Guest blog written by Rob Longert.
Chrisanderson
Apparently WIRED Magazine editor, Chris Anderson, is unaware of this common proverb, or maybe he
doesn’t believe in karma…he should. 

Back on October 29, 2007, Chris posted the names of about 300 publicists who he called “lazy flacks”

He did this because, he said, they didn’t do their research. As a young professional in the communications industry I can understand the pressure of media relations, and his reasoning is probably right. But the industry is working on that and Chris even agreed to participate in a November “PR Pitching Faux Pas to Avoid: Top Editors Share How to Keep the Love Alive with Mainstream Media” event, part of Bulldog Reporter’s PR University series.

Was his blog post a call for change in the industry? Probably not.

On October 29 did Chris get one too many unsolicited emails and in a fit of frustration ousted innocent professionals doing their job? Most likely.

While on a trip to China, Chris incurred more than $2,000 in roaming fees on his iPhone, simply because he did not shut off the roaming feature on his phone.

Have there been multiple articles online about this very topic? Yes.

As editor-in-chief of an influential tech magazine like WIRED, shouldn’t Chris know about technological features of the most talked about electronic device of the year? Most definitely.

Did Chris get what was coming to him? Absolutely.

Chris, my friend, it is a tough world out there, and you made a mockery of a job we take pride in, took advantage of the positives we bring to your industry, and berated us to our peers.

Who is the lazy flack now?

Dec 05

I’m mad as hell and not going to take it anymore

Remember the classic line from the movie ‘Network?’  I’m mad as hell and not going to take it anymore’Weingarten
was shouted by newscasters and news viewers alike in response to the demise of serious news coverage in favor of ‘happy talk.’

Well, I feel the very same way after seeing some high and mighty media types take potshots at public relations professionals.

Everyone and their brother has already weighed in on Wired Magazine’s Chris Anderson ‘outing’ 300 or so publicists who annoyed him with e-mail pitches.

Now, there’s Gene Weingarten writing in the Washington Post and beating the bejesus out of PR once again.  Like his Wired peer, Weingarten bitches about voice and e-mail messages from PR people. Rather than out specific ‘flacks’ though, he decides to instead publish his answers to one firm’s queries aimed at updating his profile in their database.

In his incredibly barbed, published response, Weingarten crucifies PR. To wit:

– In explaining his specific ‘beat,’ he says it: ‘…mostly involves ripping PR professionals a new one.’
– In decrying some perceived coupling between PR and marketing, he says ‘the unholy alliance between PR and the soulless marketing industry…makes the team of Hitler-Mussolini seem benevolent.’
– And, asked what tips he’d give PR professionals who may want to contact him, the always affable Weingarten says, ‘I encourage midnight visits to my home by PR professionals who have no immediate relatives or close friends.’

Continue reading

Nov 02

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.