For those who whine about blogging transparency: My real name is Bruce Pilgrim. (You wouldn’t make up something like that.)
I'm in my mid-50's, having slogged through a long and extinguished career in PR, marketing, journalism, and idleness. I go about 180, roughly 6' tall, with poor hand-eye coordination, graying hair, and small flabby manboobs. (You wanted transparency, didn't you?)
Want more? I'm a secular humanist, male heterosexual mammal, liberal Democrat, tree-hugging proponent of socialized medicine, getting the hell out of Iraq ASAP, and increasing income taxes to get the budget back into some semblance of balance. I live outside of Cincinnati with my spouse and two cats. I drive a 2003 Taurus (because I can't afford a Prius.) I think Macs are better than PCs, and I sometimes wonder if there might be something to that astrology thing. (A barmaid once insisted on knowing my sign, and when I refuse to tell her, she said "You must be a Leo.)
My first job out of college was a reporter for a crappy little daily newspaper making $125 a week to cover township trustee meetings, car wrecks, and bake sales. I quickly discovered that PR was infinitely easier than journalism, and considerably more lucrative. Besides, in PR you don't have to be all anal about facts, sources, attribution, and stuff.
Ever since I've been alternately amused and appalled at the internecine relationship between PR and the news media. Early on, I learned that both professions can be very flexible about ethics. After three different knights of the keyboard passed off news releases I wrote as their own columns, I was at once delighted and dismayed. When a reporter violated an embargo so he could "scoop" the only other paper in town, I sought consolation in that the story was on page 1, above the fold.
As I sunk ever deeper into corporate PR, I was only mildly surprised to learn that, at least in the trades, the "wall" between editorial and advertising was quite porous. Puff pieces, excellent placement, and endless goodies directly correlate with the size of your ad buy. I admit to enjoying my share of dinners, junkets, and luxury suites at ballparks. (You might even call me some sort of strumpet.)
I am writing for Furthermore because it continues the tradition of that other blog: skewering hypocrisy in a profession drowning in it; because I still hold faint hopes that PR might one day emerge from the shadow of advertising and make a valuable contribution to public discourse; but mostly because I like poking pretentiousness in the eye.