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January 07, 2009


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Huh...so no interaction with people, no learning from others...just more old guys doing the same thing faster, with easier to use technology?

What happened to the conversation?

Exactly, Tyler. In thinking about the fairness of this post, I recalled that 16 years ago when I broke (ass first) into the business of covering public relations for Ragan, I was assigned to call all the PR luminaries then and ask them, simply, "what is PR"

Harold Burson was one of them, but I actually got quotes from Ed Bernays, Chet Burger, Denny Griswold, Jack O'Dwyer, Pat Jackson, Fraser Seitel and the like.

I can't put my hands on the story, but I recall being fascinated by the depth of the answers and the intellectual connection these people all had to an idea of the role of public relations in a civil society.

"Communication is the litmus test of management's decision-making," Jack Felton used to say, meaning: If you can't communicate it honestly and get a decent reception from the public, it's an immoral idea.

Though their levels of sincerity surely varied, all the old white fellers believed in the "conversation" you refer to, Tyler, and they believed half of PR's job was to listen to the company's publics and deliver the information to management.

Did you hear any of that here? I didn't.

One more thing: Those old pros, though they'd never heard of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or even the Internet--were still smart enough not to let their ideas be sliced and diced by whatever asshole punk made this video.

Good...FREAKIN'...Grief!!! Yet another gaggle of old, white, men spouting useless cliches and actually saying nothing!! Only two women in the thing, and as far as I could tell not one single person under 35.

If these Ya-hoos REALLY believe the Bull they were shovelling in this video is the future of public relations, I sure wouldn't hire them.

On the up-side though David, you now have three full minutes worth of "communication cliches" for that other post you wrote (I know you asked for "change" comms cliches, but I think these that all refer to the "future" of PR still fit).

And people wonder why I emphasize that what I do is "corporate communications" and not "public relations"?!


Huh? The FUTURE of PR is using Facebook? Really? Isn't that the present and verging on becoming the past? Of course, this from people who are still saying you need ideas that are "out of the box" and we need to find out "how to get from point A to point B."

I certainly won't claim to be a PR visionary (I'm just a lowly communicator). But something tells me it wouldn't be too hard to find someone to land any of these guys' planes if they had an unfortunate encounter with public transit. Hell, even I might be able to at least get the landing gear down.

Kristen, I understand your distinction and I make it myself. Agency types are often particularly obnoxious, because in addition to having no communication principles, neither do they even have sense of connection to any cause or a purpose (the mission of their employer, be it the Red Cross or IBM).

So they come off as empty windbags for hire.

Of course, being professional communicators, they should be aware of how they come across. Dare we hope most of these folks winced when they saw this video?

Or, as I suspect, did many of them watch this video with a white-man's overbite and think: "I'm cool."

"Dare we hope most of these folks winced when they saw this video?"

Hahahahahaha! You jest, of course! I guarantee there were double scotches and back-patting all around at the "club" while they screened their 15 minutes (insert eye-roll here)

Jesus - even Paris Hilton has better PR skills than this bunch, and I hope you realize how it KILLED me to have to say THAT in public!

I actually could not watch the whole thing.

The video was produced by Ogilvy PR for PRWeek, not by Edelman. FYI.

Ah, thanks for that, Shel. Sorry, Edelman!

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