Friday, December 10, 2004

An Open Letter to Peter Shankman and his "Peeps"

Who would have thought that one post would have drawn such fire? After I pulled the post, I got other emails calling me a pansy and beating me up for pulling the piece.

I want to clarify about why I did a bit of self-censorship. I didn't pull it because of what I wrote - I stand behind what I wrote 1000 percent. I pulled it because the comments I was getting were unprofessional and ad hominem attacks. Certainly unbecoming of so-called PR professionals.

One of the letters I received asked if I would post it, and the writer has some good points. So, it's her title and her letter.

This time, though, I will delete unprofessional comments.

It truly puzzles me why you would bother to take the time to forward to your friends, a blog post from a blog you refer to as being a "little blog." It's awesome your friends have come to your defense and have taken the time to read a post on a blog site that otherwise would not have ever been on their radar. After all, it's just a "little blog" since you should be focused on "continu[ing] to kick major ass ass on behalf of my clients."

You and your friends have missed the point completely. PR / publicity - whatever you want to call it, is riddled with problems. As a profession, there are some truly inept people out there providing bad counsel to clients, and there are some really incompetent people who made the jump in-house from the agency on an inflated title with an incomplete skill set. There are agencies who secure lots of clips for their clients, though the majority is unstrategic coverage.

As an "owner[s] of a mailing list comprised of over 2,000 PR professionals, the majority of whom look up to you for advice on how to get better in their chosen field of employment," I would hope you would raise the bar and set the standard by calling Jeremy directly to call him out on his post. If your client were mis-quoted, would you really just e-mail the reporter and get in some bellow the belt hits, or would you call that reporter and escalate up to rectify the issue?

I don't disagree with any of your comments or those of your friends, about Lizzie. At the end of the day, she delivers results and value for her clients, much in the way you do with your own self promotion and that of your agency.

Why am I bothering to write you an open letter? Like your friends have said of you, Jeremy is my friend, and while his comments may be not always be sunny, they make you stop and think. They get you worked up, they leave you wondering what his obsession with Lizzie is, they leave you feeling something.

It's petty and it's lame to get this worked up. Jeremy didn't set out to "go after you," as you and your peeps have suggested - you just happened to be in that NY Post article. Remember, his blog isn't a source of news, it's just a blog, a place where he can pen whatever's on his mind. So...everyone's up in arms over what again?


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