Sunday, March 19, 2006

PersonalDNA ... SF/SV PR MeetUp ... Blogging Right

You know, doing the PR blogger tour - or, well, just meeting other PR bloggers at a few past PR events - people ask me "why are you so hell bent on issues" or "what does it matter" when speaking about PR blogging, and the purity and honesty I demand from myself (at least try) and I demand of others.

So, today I am going to write about blogging. And, PR bloggers. And, well, best practices and why I seem to get so hyper about best practices ... pretty much pointing to a test I took online (and the new cool fun little icon on the left hand, bottom side).

Jeremy Pepper, Tom Biro
Originally uploaded by philgomes.

But, let's talk about PR. It was interesting, because the other day I was talking to another PR person about the PR blogosphere. Say that really fast.

My point was that most of us have a respect for each other, and occasionally share best practices. Yes, it is a competition as we all work at competing agencies, but at the same time we do not go around looking to stab each other in the back ... well, most of us, those of us who are not too big for their britches and then link (in false modesty) to people saying calling them a "guru."

PR is about growth, and it's about the next generation. It's about moving the industry forward, not moving one's ego forward. It's about the community as a whole, and helping that community grow. Why do I comment and link to the posts from Auburn students? Did I have any connection to them prior to two years ago? Not at all - but I caught a link to my blog, went to the page, embarrassed the girl ... and became involved for the past two years. Do I have any real vested interest (besides the hope that they send me Auburn schwag?). No - but I do have a vested interest in the future of PR.

The same goes for the blogging PR students from SMU - they were out there asking questions via email and on comments, and some PR bloggers responded. And, likely, some PR bloggers thought it was beneath them.

Me & Jeremy
Originally uploaded by philgomes.

But, that's the wrong attitude. Because, well, if we are not there for the students of PR - and, as noted by Edelman's Rick Murray (he's the guy in the corner), there is a desperate need for it - then, who will help? I work with the interns as well, to school them about blogs and blog search and smart blog practices, and it is not for me, but to help them in their careers.

As to that, I am leaking information on a group that was proposed by Mike Manuel, and which I, Giovanni Rodriguez and Phil Gomes are part of: Third Thursday.

The goal for Third Thursday is to share best ideas - and, no, this is not some ego event like the dead Going the Distance - but this is a group of PR bloggers that believe in moving the industry forward. It is about best practices, to hopefully kill stupid ideas ... like this one from Fleishman Hillard. But, it is all okay because FH apologized (from O'Dwyer's - subscription required): Fleishman-Hillard says it was wrong to "blog" about the disappearance of 12 giant St. Louis Cardinals redbirds from billboards in the St. Louis area without saying that it was in on the heist.

Yep, FH staffers went around to various message boards for fans of the St. Louis Cardinals' baseball team, and posted about "where the birds?!?" that went missing ... only to appear on the radio station billboard. So much for transparency in PR, which is one of the things that I have been harping on for the past year ... and heard mainly the chirping of crickets from the silence, or little girls giggling about the issue.

Originally uploaded by david parmet.

But, a junior staffer at Bite decided to pick up the baton ... one that had been sitting desolate on the ground for quite a while ... and go run with it. Why he did not post to the Bite Blog, I have no idea ... but he wrote it on Silicon Valley Watcher. He had some good points, the comments had some good points, but at the end of the day, is it that hard to disclose on a blog what you are doing (Bite, by the way, needs to disclose that Plaxo is a client, if that is why Plaxoed is such a favorite). Does PR want to sully its hands by doing guerrilla campaigns that lack transparency? How are we going to work in the new media, and how do we do it smart? That's a question on both transparency and moving us forward (and, hopefully, one we will figure out on Third Thursdays).

So, the PersonalDNA part - well, just read the page, and you will understand why I am the way I am about blogging, and transparency and why I think some people are bad for both PR and blogging ... and you can see the fun graphic on my page now.

Originally uploaded by Brian Oberkirch.

Oh, the pictures above? Those are just a handful of the PR bloggers that get it (and that I have photos with myself with). Tom Biro (full disclosure, sister firm) gets it. Phil Gomes gets it. Brian Oberkirch gets it. Josh Hallett gets it. Mike Manuel gets it. David Parmet gets it. Shel Israel gets it (although we argue about what it is at times).

No, that's not an exhaustive list. Check out the Auburn students, the instructor and Forward - they get it. Check out Robert Ricci (disclosure, he's a colleague). Check out Giovanni Rodriguez - although I think a recent post lacked transparency, he gets it. Check out Constantin Basturea and the Texas PR Bloggers ...
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