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Never invite PR bloggers to promote themselves…NEVER

August 6th, 2008 · 1 Comment

PRWeek Blog Competition

OK, I admit it, I’m just jealous that my blog didn’t get chosen for the PRWeek Blog competition running this week.  I mean, heck, I have at least 10 posts now and I even have video and widgets.  Perhaps it is because I have never introduced a chart, graph or template outlining how to do social media relations “properly.”  Or maybe it’s because I haven’t written any books, ebooks or manifestos.  Now that I think about it, my most critical error is probably that I’ve never promoted myself through endless speaking engagements on the wildly active (and profitable) PR and marketing conference circuit.  I feel so insignificant.

Well, not really.  Fact is I’m making a great living executing awesome campaigns for my clients.

So what qualifies me to poke fun at my revered colleagues?  Experience.  I was doing social media relations before Google, Yahoo!, web 2.0 and even Internet PR firms such as Poppe Tyson, Modem Media and many others.  Don’t get me wrong…I don’t claim to be the smartest or best informed of the digital gurus out there, I just take issue with all the self-agrandizing and shameless self promotion going on in the social media circles today.

The reality, though, is that the blogs that are included in the competition are far more informative than mine.  I admit it.  I don’t try to be cerebral or overly analytical in my blog.  I simply share thoughts and information and refer my readers to expert sources.  There is great value and information contained in the blogs included in the competition BUT there are also many conspicuous omissions of great PR blogs such as PRoactive (Sally Falkow), Rep Man (Steve Cody), PRNewser (MediaBistro) and others. 

Question for the PRWeek folks who chose the list of finalists…what criteria was used and what is the true intention of the competition…other than the obvious publicity for PRWeek?  How can you possibly compare a PR measurement blog with one that discusses bad pitches?  A Homer Simpson “DUH” award seems to be warranted here…

Personally, I think PRWeek’s contest is an awful idea.  I agree with Brian Solis who states in a recent blog post:

“I recommended to PRWeek’s Keith O’Brien that instead of a blog competition, perhaps the magazine could spotlight and celebrate the bloggers who are working together to improve a much-tarnished industry, while also empowering PR professionals to help usher in a new era of more effective and intelligent public relations.”

While PRWeek’s competition will create hype and call attention to the top PR blogs, it really does nothing to accomplish the much needed goal of validating the role of PR communicators in social media, direct-to-consumer marketing and blogging.  Our new role is NOT about hype and shameless hucksterism…which is exactly what PRWeek is encouraging with this silly competition.  The new role of PR is about creating conversations and developing TRUST with consumers through being AUTHENTIC in those conversations.  Oh well, another opportunity lost and once again, PR shows it just doesn’t seem to get what the real opportunity is.  Such a shame…

Tags: Authenticity · blog promotions · Public Relations and Communications · Rants · Social Media

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Chris Heuer // Sep 2, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Thank you for writing this post – it is exactly what I was feeling/thinking but couldn’t articulate it in such a positive and constructive way. Nearly half of my PR friends who were in the competition were spamming me daily, sometimes multiple times to my different email addresses to vote for them. This form of competition is great for buzz/sizzle, but short on the meat. Am very glad they are paying attention and getting involved, but we need a different perspective.

    The other day in talking about this challenge at an event in San Francisco with some PR2.0 colleagues, they remarked “this is exactly the sort of thing we don’t want to be known for doing”

    Validating in some way, who gets it and who doesn’t, was one of the original reasons I formed Social Media Club. We still haven’t figured out the perfect way to do this, but I would love to hear your ideas on how we might accomplish that. In particular, how do we id the snake oil sales people without the use of some scarlett letter? We cant due to our litigious society – all we can really do is give the equivalent of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

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