One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

There is a movement to push PR forward. The movement has been happening for a while - and been working - with the smaller agencies, the boutiques, the individual practitioners and the agencies that do get it. So, it's not just a small agency or individual practitioner thing - it happens everywhere, including the big multinational agencies. Just look at Richard Edelman, and his blogging boy. Or KPM. Or, Shandwick's Robert Ricci who has been blogging behind the firewall for more than a year, and then had his coming out this month.

For some people, though, the industry is not moving fast enough. I'm not really one of those people, but I do believe that PR can be better, and needs to improve to make sure we get a seat at the corporate table, and keep that seat.

But, the Wiki was closed, and the reindeer games were closed to those agencies with more than 15 people ... the number of God, but I doubt that's the reason it was capped at fifteen. This might be the reason.

In his reversal, Steve Rubel notes that he closed it because ...

... I wanted to make sure we had the right people in the room who can create change on a large scale.
Who are the "right" people, and who decides who is "right" or "wrong"? This was like taking one step forward, and then two steps back with just one post by insulting everyone that was not included in the original list because they weren't "right" for the plans. Or, does "right" translate into "agree with me" in this instance. I guess the "right" people don't include educators or consultants, though, because it's still listed as "If you work in a PR agency and you'd like" a password. Screw education.

Well, it is not just the larger agencies that work with big clients that create change. Yahoo, at one time, was a small client for a small agency. It is the smaller agencies that are moving their clients forward, because they are willing to take chances - both the agencies and the clients. But, it is also the medium, large and multinational agencies that can create change.

I fully believe that there is a need for such a program, but wonder what everyone's answer is going to be like on the Wiki. A few of them are already self-serving, as are the questions, but I hope that there is real dialogue out there. As I noted on Mike Manuel's blog, I look forward to reading what Voce is doing because they are doing more than just launching blogs and calling that blogging relations. Speaking of blogging relations program, I do have a post coming up on the Nokia N90 blogging relations program later this week. The phone rocks. The blogging relations program rocks. Why wasn't Andy involved in this Wiki ... oh, he's doing stuff instead of talking about it.

Am I going to participate in the Wiki? Yes, just to add the sane / luddite voice to the mix.

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  1. From that picture, I'm worried you haven't been eating enough, Jeremy...

    You have the right attitude about the wiki project, overall. I plan to throw in my two cents as well, but frankly, I wonder what it will actually achieve. It certainly won't hurt anything. A worthwhile experiment at this stage, nothing more.

  2. "Blogging boy?" Hrmph. I've been called worse. Probably by you.

    Coming from a small agency, moving to a *really* small agency, and most recently to one of the biggest, I've found that neither the size of the agency nor the size of the client really has any bearing on whether or not the state-of-the-art "moves forward." Depends on the partnership between the two and the degree of philosophical and intellectual honesty they share. Some partnerships work. Others lurch and limp along from press release to press release. Others implode spectacularly.

    YMMV, as they say.