Posted by Amanda Chapel
"Blog Pioneer" Gomes Stripped of Gold amidst Controversy
By way of introduction, we'd first like to extend an apology. One of the most popular feature articles here to date has been the "Championship Midget Toss Sets Record." Well, without discounting the good that came from PR-ing Phil Gomes' profile, it also drew a sharp reproach from the Little People of America. Angela Van Etten, president of LPA wrote and informed us that to associate "little people" with PR people is viciously derogatory. Ms. Van Etten, we apologize. We recognize now that our article could have been construed as being insensitive.
So in order to continue the spirit of constructive competition and recognize the highest achievement in mediocrity in the blogosphere, we've altered the platform and are pleased to introduce a new series here, the PR Special Olympic Minute.
Using Special Olympics as our model, this will be the world's largest year-round program of training and competition for PR practitioners (age 8 and older) with apparent intellectual disabilities. The PR industry today provides a pool of more than 10 thousand potential competitors in over 150 countries who train and compete every day. Through our grass-roots program, we hope to provide long-term benefits to participants' self-esteem and social integration.
This week we match up 4 of the top PR Special Olympians for a 50-yard dash.
In lane 1 is Shel "of his former self" Holtz. Shel tells us that he comes to the competition with a lengthy history of PR accomplishment. His most recent blog entry only underscores the depth and credibility of his credentials, "I'm looking for help: examples of internal transparency." It's uniquely idiotic. Here he's been blogging about blogging and podcasting about podcasting for how long? Without real-world grounding? In his words, "Surely there are 4-5 solid examples out there somewhere of some company opening the windows on their C-suite activities." When a reader asks him for substantiation, Shel turns back to his audience for evidence? Shel with great determination takes self-reinforcement and confidently unaware to the next level.
In lane 2, Andrea Weckerle of New Millennium PR has "Ending The Week With A Silly Kissing Bear Contest." Without realizing it, Andrea totally captures PR's frilly and the frivolous. In her words, "What's the Kissing Bear Contest? Well, it's the anti-Valleywag contest, that, while fun, is all about shallow good looks. And who needs good looks when you've got great PR personality?" (Note: the judges were also quite impressed with another post Andrea had last week, "Unleash Your Inner Asshole: Standing Behind Your Ideas and Words.")
In lane 3 there's Robert "Professor Bob" French who adds credence to the phrase "those that can't practice usually teach." A professor at Auburn University Bob writes a lot about online character and credibility in public relations. The PR Special Olympic judges were particularly impressed by his post last week, "Australians, Americans, Mexicans and Spaniards: Education in Blogs and Podcasts." In it Bob documents a few instances where podcasting is being used in academia. We are particularly impressed how his writing articulates "Twins Syndrome." TS is where twins notoriously score lower on IQ tests because they communicate mostly among themselves without real-world knowledge or input. In Robert's words, "I write the blog for my students. They are my primary target audience. If any of the rest of you find something of value/interest, that's great. Let me hear from you." In the insular and liberal world of academia, Robert sets a new standard in preparing innocent students for the rude awakening they'll have in corporate America.
In lane 4, the crowd favorite, is Phil Gomes, Senior Counsel for Online Communications at Edelman and "blog pioneer." This week Phil does an NPR impersonation where he plays an actual voice-over professional. Here Gomes positions himself as a 10-year PR veteran further proving that just about anyone can "gome" their way through life in PR. The podcast is a virtual roundtable interview with youngsters Luke Armour (MA candidate, U. of Akron), Erin Caldwell (BA candidate, Auburn U.), Leah Hyland (BA candidate, Northeastern U.), and Joe DiMiero (Edelman Xbox team, Kent State, '05). Panelists babble (see above) about their interviewing experience only as a set up for the money shot, Julie Biber, U.S. Director of Recruitment at Edelman. Julie then talks about the importance of internships. What's this podcast essentially for? Intern recruitment. PR hardly gets more self serving than that.
AND THEY'RE OFF! Wecherle takes an early lead, followed by French and Gomes. Holtz trails the pack. At the 30-yard mark, it's French and Gomes neck and neck... with Wecherle now a distant third. Holtz stopped to tie his shoe. ...and at the finish line... bald, drooling, arms akimbo, besting French by his snot-filled "knows"... PHIL GOMES TAKES THE GOLD!!!
- Post race analysis: On review of the tape, what really gave Gomes the edge at the finish was the combination of pseudo professionalism and hidden agenda. Phil proves again that as in the Special Olympics, even when you win, you're still retarded.
- By focusing in on PR, we in no way underestimate that intellectual disability crosses racial, ethnic, educational, social and economic lines, and can occur in any profession. However, it is common knowledge that the Public Relations industry has some of the highest levels of sheer idiocy compared to any demographic except maybe politicians and real estate salesmen.
- A special mention goes out to Stephen Davies, Michael Driehorst and Scott Baradell who although their recent blogging did not rise to the requirement specified by the PR Special Olympics, their incessant nattering continues to be done with great effort and childlike passion. To them and all like them, we'd like to reiterate, "There are a lot of Nobodies and sometimes disqualifications but never losers in the PR Special Olympics."
Since this story was released... the judges in a surprise turnaround have now stripped Gomes of the Gold. Rumor has it that Gomes may have failed a test for various performance enhancements. Gomes has been subsequently disqualified.
As a result, the judges have re-rewarded the Gold this week to Auburn professor Robert French. The professor could not be reached for comment.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Can't you find a way to satirize without being disrespectful, if not cruel, to people with disabilities?
This place is certainly not PC. Strumpette is certainly disrespectful maybe even at times cruel to the self important and vacuous nincompoops in PR. But to twist this as some slight to the disabled is nonsense.
What's nonsense is your rationale. You called it a "competition for PR practitioners (age 8 and older) with apparent intellectual disabilities." If you had a kid in the Special Olympics, would you tell him that you made up the PR Special Olympics to make fun of PR people whom you thought were intellectually disabled or somehow sub par? Hmm, Strumpette, for a PR professional, you seem to lack, among other things, a basic understanding of how your words will affect people.
Preston, you're an idiot; and frankly, I don't care.
boy oh boy do U ever push buttons!!
Amanda U & Howard Stern would make an awesome Team running fer President!!
i'm starting the nomination process now!
Keep on Rockin in the Free World!!