Posted by Amanda Chapel
Where are you?!! Listen... we had a Call to Action last week where we invited a number of you here to a critical debate about the future of our business. Not one showed up.
WELL, WE'RE ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGED! While there's a growing cancer in our industry, you (plural) seem bent on lining your pockets almost exclusively. Regrettably, a number of your peers are involved in activities that will surely kill our business. And when it goes to hell and you make off with your millions, we are the ones who will be left holding the bag.
Here... connect these dots: Edelman is out doing back flips trying to reduce us to direct marketers; the president of one of the leading "PR 2.0" firms says he cannot see a difference between PR and advertising anymore; there's a whole sub culture now in our business that's presently throwing communications expertise out the window and replacing it with base SEO techniques; you've got Hines proselytizing that we embrace the cartoon that is Second Life; you've got Kempner leading the way for us to legitimize blog bribery. And how 'bout the mainstream biz? You've got Torossian boasting about Girls Gone Wild, taking us from the "lying profession" to porn marketing services. It's unbelievable.
It all raises two simple questions: What won't you do for a dollar? Or preferably, when will you stand up?
Bottom line, the business has never been more pathetic and you are endorsing it with your silence. Used to be that once a year or so a major paper would variously satirize us; today, on Strumpette, there's something daily. Frankly, we cannot keep up.
IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE! Help us end the silence. Speak up now or forever hold you peace. We invite you to join us the concerned majority in an effort to reestablish the respected professional discipline of PR. No more obfuscation. We'd like each of you to stand up and show your support and especially your smarts.
TELL US! What should we do and how do you personally plan to lead us there?
We look forward to your thoughts.
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OK, so I know it was an oversight that left me off the original invitation list of industry leaders...anyway, I agree with everything you said. For an agency that positions itself as online experts, Edelman has done little but screw up its social media opportunities, whether it's "flogs" or other missteps that have caused rep headaches for their clients. Forgive me for laughing when Rubel says he's been in the online world since 1995. I've had an email address on my business card since 1988...and I remember when online meant using a 300 bps modem to join a CompuServe chat with Shel Holtz and Ron Solberg on PRSIG. But there is more to life than Second Life. (See lubetkinsotherblog.blogspot.com for my rants on SL as a sovereign entity.)
All this stuff is merely more "tactics" like that horrible "compass" mailing described elsewhere in this blog. Don't people understand that this stuff doesn't work? How about engaging in thoughtful dialogue with the mainstream media -- which still gets more downloads for its professionally produced news podcasts than most other amateur stuff on iTunes. People want branded media content because they trust the content to be real, not manufactured. Web 2.0 has a real feel of being not real. And that's a danger to all of our credibility.
Back to PR!