Vegas! That’s right, Sin City. The lights, the glamour, the glitz. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Anything you want baby. Oh yeah!
Oh no. This is actually a sad story. It's about someone for which I used to have great respect who's apparently lost it all on the Strip.
Very depressing. Remember when Ronn Torossian got into bed with Joe Francis from Girls Gone Wild; or how 'bout when Joe Jaffe used his 5-year old son Aaron to shield criticism from peers who thought his virtual lap dances for cameras and such was unseemly. Awful stuff. Well, now Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications, has become Pimp Daddy in PR’s Great Web Seduction and is "working" the Wynn Hotel.
I know, I know, "PR’s seduction" is Ouroboros (snake bites its own tail). At the very least it's redundant by definition. All things considered, just how would one be able to tell? I mean look around! Other than O'Dwyer's, who’s pretty much been banned from the industry for telling the truth and providing a critical perspective, you've got dedicated sycophants PRWeak, PRNudes and Lapdog Reporter gently stroking the industry’s privates, currying the favor of the highest bidder. C’mon... PR’s moral world headquarters today is Pahrump, Nevada, home of the famous Chicken Ranch. And that’s exactly what Strumpette originally, ironically, set out to expose. PR sadly has become intellectual prostitution and no one except maybe Kevin McCauley, John Stauber and Jack O’Dwyer, has the courage to question it.
Anyway, here’s the deal: Ragan’s got a conference coming up in March. It’s in Vegas. And true to the locale, “Social Media for Communicators: A Web 2.0 Summit for Internal Communications, Public Relations and Marketing” is all show. It’s a scam. Why? For $1,000 a pop, there’s no there there. It’s total hype over substance and value. It’s thin anecdotes propped up to impassion an easily-manipulated crowd. It’s the ubiquitous background music at Epcot whose purpose is to otherwise put you in the mood to buy a few Mickey souvenirs. Ragan Communications has become a troupe of circus organizers posing as journalists whose MO is to get you in the tent and surreptitiously remove your wallet.
Funny (not ha ha), Ragan has a video promoting the upcoming event. The background music ironically is Elvis’ Viva Las Vegas! Mark these words:
Bright light city gonna set my soul
Gonna set my soul on fire
Got a whole lot of money that's ready to burn,
So get those stakes up higher
There’s a thousand pretty women waitin' out there
And they’re all livin’ devil may care
And Im just the devil with love to spare
Viva Las Vegas, viva Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas with you neon flashin’
And your one-arm bandits crashin’
All those hopes down the drain
Viva Las Vegas turnin’ day into nighttime
Turnin’ night into daytime
If you see it once
You’ll never be the same again
I’m gonna keep on the run
I’m gonna have me some fun
If it costs me my very last dime
If I wind up broke up well
Ill always remember that I had a swingin’ time
I’m gonna give it everything I’ve got
Lady luck please let the dice stay hot
Let me shout a seven with every shot
Viva Las Vegas, viva Las Vegas,
Viva, viva Las Vegas
Journalists? Ragan?! No. Not any more. In the words of Mark Ragan, “Social media is one of the hottest commodities goin'.” That’s right. Operative word being “commodity.” It’s just a product he’s looking to cash in on and MyRagan etc. is the bait. Let alone abandoning the role as independent arbiter with a critical eye, Ragan is now unapologetically criticizing the dissenters that question their motive and methods.
Personally, I think people and organizations that pander, that leverage hype in order to prey on mid-to-low level dimwits and knuckleheads, are the lowest form of life. Put aside that the “journalism” façade is just charade; Mark should be ashamed of himself for the swindle. Trust me, he’s not. He's whistling all the way to the bank.