On his co-blog today, Russell Buckley summarized the whole Blogger Fight between Beattie and Rubel with this:
That's my thoughts so far on PR and blogging. No where near as extreme as Russell Beattie. But no where near as patronising as Steve Rubel's response to him either, I hope - which could be the real reason for Russell's grumpy response.Do I like being called a Moron? Of course not, but I'm in PR - if I were thin-skinned, I would have been run out of this industry years ago. PR professionals are used to stress. We expect to be yelled at or attacked by reporters when we just get them at the wrong time. Now, we have bloggers to deal with, and it can be nastier - and personal, as noted by Eric Eggertson.
Now, someone IM'ed me that I was the only PR blogger defending Beattie - and, that's not really true. I can empathize. We all have fuses that at some point burn out and explode. It appears that one bad PR pitch pushed Beattie pretty damn close to the exploding point, and then a blog post pushed him over the edge to name names. Is it excusable? Not really. Should it be expected in the blogosphere? Well, yah.
Heck, I like Steve and this is just the after affects of a hurricane that he's in the eye of right now. I just wished he would write more on how PR is being affected by blogging and new communications, because that would be a good read.
We should all learn a lesson over this (for journalists and bloggers): if you pitch someone, get back to them in 48 hours. If you are going to pitch someone, know what they cover. If you pitch someone, have your freakin' information together. Tom Murphy has a better list here on how to freakin' pitch, as does Constantin Basturea.
To summarize: the blogosphere is ripe for this kind of emotional off-the-cuff response (even if Russell did it on purpose to throw flames at what he saw as someone else shooting flames) ... everyone should be very wary of pitching any bloggers - especially widely read ones - and you can't unring the bell.
Hopefully, this will be the last of it, but it won't. Another PR person will send a bad pitch to a blogger, the blogger will name names, and we'll see the whole thing played out. Again.