PR Blog Spat

I love the Internet in general and blogging in particular because you can engage in intellectual prize fights without a printing press or podium.

PR Watch, published by the Center for Media and Democracy, posted an item called “Edelman’s Rescue Plan for the PR Industry.” Bob Burton slammed Edelman and claimed that his post in his blog about “500 influencers” proved that he was little more than a propagandist.

I took exception in a reply. Burton replied to my reply and Sheldon Rampton countered and I came back with a solid left hook. Before I knew it we were in round four. What irks me about the PR Watch attitude is that they really don’t know how the PR business operates. It is not all big agencies spinning news to the detriment of the masses. Individuals, emerging companies, any legislator, and even PR Watch employs elements of PR. PR is not about evil manipulators behind thick curtains bending minds and limiting choices (at least not all of it).

My point is that the Internet is opening up communication like never before and the PR industry is being forced to alter its practices. Big PR agencies, like big companies, can no longer maintain absolute control over their internal or external communication. Journalism is also experiencing a parallel revolution as “citizen-journalists” and bloggers redefine how news and opinion is delivered. PR Watch is operating on an old model and its criticism is staid and confused.
See Mark Rose Bio

Citizen Journalists Arise

Amy Gahran, a self-professed “info provocateur” is beginning something called I Reporter: The Citizen Journalism Project. Why?

I’m drawn to this field because I’ve grown to realize that traditional versions of news, journalism, and journalists are no longer enough. The cult of officialdom has reached its limits. There is more than one way to gauge relevance and credibility. We need more kinds of news, from more kinds of sources, to adequately serve the information needs of our communities and the world.

Citizen journalism is an emerging field that is growing in credibility. Perhaps the largest source of citizen journalism is OhMyNews, a Korean news organization that employs 50 staff reporters and editors plus 38,000 citizen reporter volunteers who submit 200 stories a day. Much of the professional staff time is spent on editing and fact checking these stories before they are posted. The citizen reporters must be verified through government registration numbers, and then sign onto a strict code of ethics including a promise not to write a story for personal financial gain and to tell the truth in each piece.

OhmyNews has embraced the philosophy that every citizen can be a reporter. Others act as sources for fellow volunteer reporters or for OhmyNews professional staffers. OhmyNews is a laboratory for the future of on-line communication. | See Mark Rose Bio

Major In Blogging?

Today, A group from Tupelo, Mississippi, opened what they say is the first Blogging recruiting agency. See Bloggeropoly . There is evidence from sources around the Net that blogging is now becoming a career path.  See: Blogger Jobs. According to the Pro-Bloggers Association  the need for professional bloggers is growing.

May 31, 2005, The Wall Street Journal ran a story called “Blogging A Corporate Job; Digital ‘Handshake’?” Christine Halvorson was hired as chief blogger at Stonyfield Farm., a Londonderry, N.H., organic yogurt company. She writes four blogs and earns in the mid-$40,000s, she says. Stonyfield’s CEO says he plans to hire one or two additional full-time bloggers within the next two years, according to the Journal.Powered By Qumana

Developing Your Voice

If you are a writer you know that the most difficult and essential task is finding your voice. The good news about blogging is that it is forcing business people to rediscover (or discover) writing. The bad news is that you may never have had a voice or lost it so long ago that you’ll go crazy trying to find it.

There is help. A group in Canada is trying to establish a genre of “professional bloggers” and they have Tips on developing your blogging voice. They are also developing a new blogging platform called Qumana that will be released today. If Qumana delivers all that it promises it will be a very promising development. I have been investigating more robust alternatives to blogger (WordPress, MovableType, Drupal) . Qumana may be the way to go. Let’s see.|
See Mark Rose Bio

Got Your Attention?

She is not the most popular blonde searched on Google (Madonna, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears) or the most popular woman (Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson) but Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova is definitely one of the most familiar figures on the Internet. She doesn’t have the staying power of Pamela Anderson (currently #3 on the Lycos Top 50, with 301 weeks on the chart) but she is ranked 10th on the Yahoo! Buzz Index in the “Sports” category.

Anna K. is not worshipped because of her tennis play. “Why do we like her? More like why do we love her? This Russian tennis player is only a backhand away from making us drool when seeing her do virtually anything,” says AskMen.com, which names her one of their 99 most desirable women. Why? “I’m beautiful, famous and gorgeous,” says Anna K.

What does this have to do with the subject of this blog? Let me answer that with a question. Stipped away, so to speak, what does all effective advertising really come down to? I offer a snap of this billboard of Anna K. from the Netherlands.