What else can explain the 11-page “Manifesto for the 21st Century Public Relations Firm,” that Holmes included in “the holmes report” issued via pdf last week. Although we are seven years into the new century we figure it is never too late to catch a bolt of lightning as Holmes tells us that YouTube is a big deal and Wal-Mart was wrong to fake a blog.
“The new communications landscape will be different – and in many ways more dangerous – than the terrain public relations professionals are used to,” Holmes pronounces. Really? Here is a guy with his ear to the concrete.
We figure Holmes is too busy deciding what PR firm is Best at This and That to pay attention to his manifesto so we click the “Check out our new blog” button on holmesreport.blogspot.com. His last entry, three months ago, is about Super Bowl ads. So we click “News” and get a ranking for public relations firms in 2000 (which might explain Holmes’ “new century” kick) and the best public relations agencies to work for in 2002. The “Media Kit” section says: “This section of our (sic) is currently under construction. Please return shortly.” Like in the next century?
If anybody sees Paul Holmes for his SABRE awards in Barcelona, May 24, tell him that Jimi Hendrix died. Break it to him gently. We don’t want to shock him.
Trouble in Virtual Paradise
An open letter to Second Life circulated last week by some of its most prominent users complained of a litany of problems. "There are some consistent, ongoing problems that are getting worse under heavy load, not better, and are not simply irritants but problems that are causing financial loss in some cases, which is unacceptable," said the letter.
Within days Linden Lab CTO Cory Ondrejka attempted to quell the uprising by answering questions for more than an hour in a town hall meeting in the virtual world. Stability and scalability were the most pressing complaints, along with Linden Labs’ slow response time to requests for help. Reportedly, a high degree of hostility was on display during the meeting – many shouting out their complaints (in text).
Second Life remains a tough sell. Besides the obvious barrier of even explaining what it is (you see these avatars fly around and you buy a virtual island for real money and … ) there is the real difficulty of anybody with any kind of first life figuring out how to do anything in Second Life. It is too difficult and time consuming. Why devote time and money to a world that constantly crashes and may not be relevant in a year?
Converging in the West
I debated myself for weeks whether or not to attend PR Online Convergence in L.A., May 16 – 18. I decided last week to sign up since free membership in Social Media Club now entitles you to a $800 discount. The size of the discount highlights the absurdity of the entrance fee.
The event is way too expensive. $1695 full price for the event, plus $500 for two pre-event workshops, plus airfare, plus hotel, plus $150 for dinner and drinks with Eric Schwartzman (I can shake hands with John Edwards for less) PLUS giving up those precious billable hours, makes this a luxury for few.
The whole A-list blogerati-podcastebrity clique will be there: Phil Gomes, Jason Calacanis, Chris Heuer, Brian Solis, and many others. And now I will be there as well, reporting back. I look forward to Katie Paine’s pre-conference workshop on “How to establish your Social Media Dashboard.” And I look forward to meeting Chris Heuer, to get his views on censorship in the blogosphere.
John Stodder – Our Imprisoned Conscience
Last week was particularly hilarious on Strumpette so it is hard to pick a post that I liked best. I definitely most appreciated the note from John Stodder, updating us on his appeal and the facility he will likely serve his 15 month sentence in.
I am grateful for John’s openness and his willingness to share this experience. There is a Confessional on this site, offering absolution for PR sins. Reading the posts gives me the chills and it also rings true. I don’t judge John’s guilt or innocence but I know that his sins, as much as he may have them, are not far from our own.
As a minimum security “camper” at CI Taft Correctional Institution I’ll bet that John will be in quarters that will rival some New York studio apartments. There may be an upside here. I always thought that the only way I would finish my novel would be in prison for 15 months. Solitude can bring clarity, open up new vistas, focus your efforts. Is there a book here?
I hope that John stays in touch with us through his incarceration and appeal. Let us see what it’s like to come out the other end of this.
Mark Rose is editor of PRBlogNews - a web publication focusing on public relations practices in the digital age.