Venality. Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Vengeance. PR.

beastLos Angeles — Transparency, authenticity, full disclosure – these are buzz terms we hear every day in online PR (especially here at the PR Online Convergence conference).  There is a utopian trust in the “wisdom of the crowd” and the democratization of information and the self-correcting, self-policing Internet. These are nice concepts that go along with reading Siddhartha and marching for world peace. But this is PR. 

In reality, we are flogged by agency bosses and clients to “get results” now.  That usually means by any means necessary. Spam and telemarket the media, beg, bend the truth, call in your chits – you don’t get three ‘hits’ today that client is out the door and you are in the hot seat. In order to be successful at media relations – still synonymous with public relations in most circles – you need to be a beast, not a saint. Where is the disconnect?

As I listen to presentations on social media, podcasting, SEO, RSS, Second Life – the brave new world of PR online convergence – I am reminded that I am 3,000 miles from home in more ways than one. There are approximately 30 of us in this room tripping on new ways to package and distribute news, circumventing traditional channels, creating our own channels, widgetizing content, mashing up, blog pimpin’, diverting, mirroring. Back home hundreds, maybe thousands, of stressed out publicists are scrapping for two lines of ink in a 20K circ trade pub. Where is the disconnect?

How is the conference? Some deep initial thoughts: Eric Schwartzman, founder of iPressroom, is a terrific host but he needs to get a haircut and pull up his pants. Phil Gomes, VP at Edelman’s Me2Revolution, presented a social media update. I wanted to get a pic of Phil but my camera broke.  Phil suggested I could get a photo online, so I image searched Google for Phil Gomes and came up with this (right) with the description: take long for Phil Gomes – photo 315 x 180 – 10k - jpg.

Sorry, Phil, but I can’t tell which one is you.


  1. Phil Gomes says:

    Filed under “What-did-I-ever-do-to-you?”

  2. Jacob Skir says:

    “Transparency, authenticity, full disclosure – these are buzz terms we hear every day in online PR”

    Mark, you can invent buzz terms of your own as well. Just for instance: the Google’s term “PageRank”. What does it stand for? Does it stand for the word “page” (= a page of an Internet site)? Or for the name of the Google’s cofounder Larry Page?
    At the end of the day, it makes no difference. You invent a new word pointing both to your personal name and to the technical/scientific/political term.

  3. Sorry, but I’m too fat to wear my hair short or my pants around my belly. And I was unable to pass upthe cup cakes at the dinner party I just came back from, so I don’t expect to drop the weight anytme soon. But thanks for not judging my book entirely by its cover.

Speak Your Mind