Posted by Sheryl Dickerhoof, APR
First, for the record, I love dogs. Sure, I'm a little offended by them licking their own privates and forever smelling other dogs' butts. BUT... I'm charmed by their uncontained excitement to see the same old people. Hell, it certainly doesn't take much to make them happy. For a little dog food in return they'll give you unconditional love.
With that in mind, this is about a recent article in PR's Bulldog Reporter by its publisher Jim Sinkinson. Nothing personal. This is only about what he’s saying, to whom and especially why. This is about documenting someone of supposed industry importance giving his paw for treats. Okay, it's cute. But it's also the silent pathology that keeps PR a pseudo profession inextricably stuck at the tactical level. That's the subject here.
Regrettably, yesterday Sinkinson published an op-ed titled “Authenticity Today Means Being Able to Say You're Sorry.” Not coincidentally, it was sorry. Absolutely awful. A BIG WET DOG LICK! No, it was worse. To us at Strumpette, he might as well have left a little present on the living room floor. BAD DOG!! And this isn't a week after we rolled up the paper and whacked him for that stink bomb by Paul Gillin.
Well a close friend Gerri, a dog expert, recommended that as part of Sinkinson's training, we put his nose in it. At this point, we're willing to try anything. The following are Sinkinson's doodoo balls and our efforts to clean the carpet.
SINKINSON: "It's becoming clear that one of the greatest effects Web 2.0 has had on public relations is that it's keeping companies honest."
RESPONSE: BAD DOG! NO!
"Clear" to whom?!
Fact is, companies and institutions are under attack. Web 2.0 is first and foremost a systemic disruption and political movement. It is a huge power shift. The "have nots" now have a powerful weapon and are going to use it as leverage to secure a bigger slice of the pie. To accomplish that, they need to otherwise dismantle the system that exists. THAT'S what this is!
As to "PR keeping companies honest," are you serious? Sure you could argue that similarly, prostitution helped keep priests celibate during the 14 century; but frankly, that's a bit of a stretch.
We are a service to a legal fiction, i.e. "the corporation." We may be truthful but we will never be literally honest. Let alone that that's a ridiculous place to set the bar for PR; it's not even human.
SINKINSON: "Like it or not, consumer-generated media make us pretty much transparent. PR pundits claim the answer to this new transparent world is authenticity."
RESPONSE: More sycophant drivel. Listen: mismanagement, and maybe acts of G-d, make us vulnerable. That's all.
With regard to "authenticity," what the hell does that even mean? Frankly, Fake Steve Jobs is more authentic than the actual Steve Jobs; and Amanda Chapel is a far richer and honest brand than Jim Sinkinson will ever be.
The problem here is the concept of truth as interpreted by a literal mind. The Dog apparently doesn't process on the conceptual level.
SINKINSON: "You can't be authentic or credible while hiding key facts."
RESPONSE: What key facts? Listen, ONLY information that is a part of a particular transaction should be required, period. Like in court, a deposition has limitations. The information needs to be relevant. How do we judge that? Caveat Emptor.
See again, literal minds. THAT'S THE PROBLEM! Literal minds don't know where that boundary is. That is exactly the tyranny of those that promote radical transparency. To them, brand is deemed bad. Anything less than poopin' with the door open is considered "hiding key facts."
Bottom line: Jim, if we were privy to your private thoughts, if we knew what was exactly on the minds of 90 percent of the leadership of PR presently, you and the lot of 'em would likely go to jail.
SINKINSON: "The new world demands dialogue—honesty and accessibility—not hiding out."
RESPONSE: Total dog doo. Dialogue, "the conversation," is over-hyped bubble crap. Business, any distribution system for that matter, doesn't want a prolonged/protracted sales cycle. We want just the opposite: We want to streamline it.
With regard to "accessibility," sure... as it is defined in the contract. You want more time, pay for it!
Now, the literal minded class will protest here that they will only do business with organizations that provide unlimited access for free. Excuse me, but the reason we offshore customer service is because we cannot afford it. Press us to provide unlimited access and we will either raise prices or just go out of business altogether. It's that simple. That's business.
SINKINSON: "Bloggers are obviously real people, not corp-comm stooges."
RESPONSE: Pure dee bias and class prejudice based on total ignorance. What Sinkinson is saying is that anyone who's repressed "self" in order to integrate into an organization is no good; anyone who hasn't integrated and has a microphone is better. Ridiculous. It is a total misunderstanding of organizational dynamics; total negation of corporate communications; and complete ignorance of corporate law.
Now, what Jim is going to learn in short order is that by being popular and aligning with "real people," he'll go out of business. The real people on the Web have no money. It was the corp-comm stooges that kept the Dog fed.
SINKINSON: "Maybe being authentic is just being able to say you're human and you're sorry."
RESPONSE: Okay, Jim, you be literally "authentic." We'll be the first to support you. We enthusiastically agree that you and Bulldog are sorry.
BAD DOG. NOW SIT!
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