Phil Gomes

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Phil's Blogservations

Friday, February 25, 2005

Posted by philgomes 4:51 PM

Thanks to Tara, who pointed me to Gizoogle. It's a somewhat faster and more reliable version of the old "Shizzolator," which takes web pages and translates them into Snoop Doggy Dogg's singular slang.
Look what it did to the "About This Blog" paragraph in the right-hand side side of this screen:
This is tha perso-professizzles weblog fizzy Phil Gomes: award-winn'n PR consultant, invited university lectura, n all-around tizzy PR guy . Keep the party crackin while I'm steady rappin'. This blog not only discusses PR n media matta, but Phil's everyday observations `bout a variety of topics with the S-N-double-O-P.
Even funnier: The Gizoogled version of this week's earlier post about Days Of The New. Here are the Snoopified lyrics from the song "How Do You Know You."
All I see is all ta see
Stubborn mind in front of me
If you wiznant I'll go away
I'll be here some hustla day

How do you know you

And I dizzon't fizzle you now
And I D-to-tha-izzon't see you now
And I don't hizzy you now
And I diznon't kizzy you now

How do you know you

Yes, I've K-to-tha-izzept tha news from you
Yes, it's all in yo mind

Posted by philgomes 11:08 AM

Chronicle Interviews Frank Chu

Chronicle Interviews Frank Chu
For those who don't know, Frank Chu is nothing short of a San Francisco legend. Armed with his omnipresent sign, frumpy suit, and unique vocabulary, he protests the various injustices perpetrated upon him and the "12 galaxies" by various political and social figures.
This Q&A provides a good introduction.
Chu supports himself by selling ads on the back of his protest sign, but this wasn't always the case. In fact, back when we were employed by the now-defunct Phase Two Strategies, my buddy Troy Petersen had the prescient idea of sponsoring Chu's protest in exchange for promotional consideration. Since it was 2000 and we were on a hiring spree, Troy thought it would be great if we put the company's logo and URL on the back of the sign, along with the company's slogan "We Help Make Leaders." Under the slogan, we would have an arrow pointing down at Chu.
Alas... Months later, I noticed an ad for Quiznos on there. (If Chu knew what I knew about Quiznos' own intergalactic atrocities, however, I'm sure he would have picked a different sponsor.)
I IM'ed this news to Troy who, after reading the Q&A, felt that "Barry Bonds could take a clue from him on staying on message."
Richard weighed in with this link, which has some videos.
This is a great photo of him, by the way. I'm sure we could all use more "flagrant veracity" in our lives, right? Kind of like intergalactic beat poetry.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Posted by philgomes 7:30 PM
Rediscovering Days Of The New

Rediscovering Days Of The New
Forgot how much I liked this band when they originally came out sometime in the late '90s. I was just listening to this song while wrapping up some work.
All I see is all to see
Stubborn mind in front of me
If you want I'll go away
I'll be here some other day

How do you know you

And I don't feel you now
And I don't see you now
And I don't hear you now
And I don't know you now

How do you know you

Yes, I've kept the news from you
Yes, it's all in your mind

Posted by philgomes 4:36 PM

PoweR Girls Pt. II

PoweR Girls Pt. II
My reaction to the PoweR Girls idea got me thinking about something I read a long time ago in Charles H. Ferguson's High Stakes, No Prisoners. Check it out:
The [PR] women are smart, hard as nails, ruthless, and often stunningly gorgeous. The rank and file is completely dominated by attractive young women, various combinations of dragon lady and bimbette, whose job is social lubrication — opening doors, getting interviews, pushing you through a crowd toward sometone they're just dying to have you meet. This basic model was pioneered by Regis McKenna, who built one of the first Silicon Valley PR firms in the early 1980s using his army of "Regettes." A lot of the front-line PR women marry their clients; the stereotypical marriage is the forty-yer-old wealthy entrepreneur and his twenty-five-year-old blonde.
Not sure how this show is going to necessarily elevate this perception but, nevertheless, I remain curious.
Read what Ferguson had to say about PR men:
The [PR] men generally reminded me of my reaction to Clinton advisors like Dick Morris or David Gergen — greasy, overweight, amoral, somehow pathetic even when extremely successful.
Oh, my...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Posted by philgomes 10:22 AM
MTV To Bring Yet Another Blight On Culture, Profession

MTV To Bring Yet Another Blight On Culture, Profession
Kill me...
Years ago, I spoke with a colleague about perhaps collaborating on a spec draft of a fiction book or screenplay that could involve the PR profession. Despite all of our creativity, we were stumped as to how to put together something that would make most non-PR people care. Today, I guess the closest thing we have now is The West Wing — sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.
Fear not, however. MTV has figured out another way to sell commercials. Here comes PoweR Girls.
No, this isn't the resurrection of a forgotten Hanna Barbera cartoon. This is an opportunity to:
Meet the ladies who make all the PR magic happen at Lizzie Grubman Public Relations. Get a personal look into who these young women are and check out MTV.com's exclusive photos of each.
Wait! There's more!
The life of a PoweR Girl at Lizzie Grubman's New York City PR firm is sometimes glamorous, sometimes stressful but always exciting. Don't miss the drama on PoweR Girls.
As if depictions of PR people in Sex And The City and Phone Booth weren't bad enough.
Oh... And... Um... Where are the men? Seriously.
Not surprisingly, Grubman's bio on the MTV site doesn't mention this particular incident.
Thanks to Tom Murphy for the link.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Posted by philgomes 5:47 PM
Jon Stewart On Blogging

Jon Stewart On Blogging
Oh, my...
One of The Daily Show's many fine moments (MOV).
Thanks to CNET's Charles Cooper for the link.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Posted by philgomes 9:13 PM
Scoble, RSS, And Internal Resistance

Scoble, RSS, And Internal Resistance
It continues to amaze the hell out of me, the hostility I sometimes encounter when I bring up RSS or weblogs in some circles.
And, then you've got stories like Robert Scoble tells in a post from over the weekend. Apparently, a group within Microsoft derided RSS as just something for the geeks.
Scoble landed. Hard.
Sorry, if you do a marketing site and you don't have an RSS feed today you should be fired.

I'll say it again. You should be fired if you do a marketing site without an RSS feed.

Saying that RSS is only for geeks today is like saying in 1998 that the Web was only for geeks.

A few journalists have gotten back to me and said that, in time, they'll not look at any company or concern that doesn't have an RSS feed. This will only continue, especially when syndication technologies become user-transparent.

Posted by philgomes 10:18 AM

Congrats To Sam Arroyo...

Congrats To Sam Arroyo...
...who is now a published reporter! Check out his two articles from Wondercon about Batman Begins and Joss Whedon.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Posted by philgomes 7:44 PM
Microsoft On 133t5p34k

Microsoft On 133t5p34k
As a gesture to parents everywhere, Microsoft offers a leetspeak primer.
Am I the only one who thinks that this is like Kenny G going heavy metal?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Posted by philgomes 11:58 AM
"Governor Moonblog," Perhaps?

"Governor Moonblog," Perhaps?
Jerry Brown has a blog. Kinda wish it would've started with something a bit more compelling than the curfew law.
Thanks to Doc Searls for the link.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Posted by philgomes 4:10 PM
The Next Starbucks Ad...

The Next Starbucks Ad...
...will probably say something like "Drink A Venti For Your Health."
From Health Talk:
There's good news for coffee drinkers today and it has nothing to do with the price of coffee beans. Japanese researchers say people who drink one to two cups of coffee every day have a lower risk of developing liver cancer.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Posted by philgomes 6:15 PM
Fun With Surname Origins

Fun With Surname Origins
I was cleaning out my disposable spam-dump Hotmail account when I noticed a blurb about MSN's ancestry site.
Here was the result when I typed in my surname:
Portuguese: from the medieval personal name Gomes, probably Visigothic in origin, from guma "man." This name is also common on the west coast of India, where it was taken by Portuguese colonists.
Not surprisingly, the Gomes-density-circa-1920s map that the site generates places most Gomeses in California, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

When people have asked whether I'm related to this "Gomes" or that "Gomes" (usually Lee Gomes of The Wall Street Journal), I've often joked that "Gomes" is Portuguese for "Smith," since it's so common.

Wrong-o. As it turns out, "Ferreira" means "Smith." Check it out:
Galician and Portuguese: Common topographic name for someone who lived by a forge or iron workings, from Latin ferraria "forge," "iron working."
Interestingly, the name has little to do with the family's trade, but that family's proximity to an ironworks. I guess that's kind of like calling me "Phil Toyotadealership," "Phil Gasstation," or "Phil Newagehippieorganicfoodcooperative."

Friday, February 11, 2005

Posted by philgomes 3:56 PM
Seek Strange Solace In Math

Seeking Strange Solace In Math
A friend of mine once said that "there should be a law" when it comes to preventing the influx of cruddy middle-management into the workplace.
Actually, there isn't a law against it, but there is a law for it — the law of averages.
A member of one of the mailing lists I'm on posted this link on "Why Your Pointy Haired Boss Is A Mathematical Certainty."
Watch the red dot in the middle of the first graph.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Posted by philgomes 6:26 PM
Congratulations Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom!

Congratulations Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom!

Searches for you, leading to this previous post, have contributed to about a quarter of the traffic to this site month-to-date.
No kidding.
Highlight of your storied career, I'm sure.
Keep up the good work!

Posted by philgomes 4:50 PM

Wisdom From Patrick McGoohan

Wisdom From Patrick McGoohan
I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Posted by philgomes 5:09 PM
Workday Thought

Workday Thought
I've said it before
And I'll say it again.
You get nothin' for nothin'.
Expect it when
You're backseat drivin'
And your hands ain't on the wheel.

Posted by philgomes 9:22 AM

Novell's PSA

Novell's PSA
This fake PSA rules. Not going to say much more. Just click and enjoy.
Thanks to Tim "The Hardest Working Man In Tech" Tuck for the link.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Posted by philgomes 1:49 PM
Weekend Thought

Weekend Thought
It's very far away
It takes about a half day to get there
If we travel by
More later.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Posted by philgomes 8:31 PM
No, I'm Not Going To "Defend" My Profession

No, I'm Not Going To "Defend" My Profession
I've been writing this bit by bit ever since I was approached about this topic the other day. I've given it a lot of thought. Have I completely unpacked the topic in my head? Probably not.
Nevertheless, today's meme in the PR blogging community has to do with the black eyes that the profession frequently gets. Furthermore, folks have been asked to hold forth about why PR is important, even necessary.
It would appear that PR people grow weary of defending their profession. In my opinion, there's really nothing to defend.
Seriously, folks... Why does this happen? For some reason, PR people turn into a terribly self-flaggelating bunch every so often, maybe about once a year or so. Do litigators do this? IRS employees? Boy-band agents?
Before I begin... Yes, I know my profession doesn't cure AIDS, solve world hunger, or give you washboard abs. (Though PR-driven awareness of such problems arguably does its fair part in this regard.) PR also doesn't have the faux nobility of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. That's not the point.
Also, by way of background, you need to know how and why I got into PR in the first place. This should give some context.
I'll wait.
Are you back?
(Whistles Rainbow's "Man On The Silver Mountain.")
Ah! There you are! Now...
If you didn't check out my FAQ, here's the Super Bowl highlight film version:
Save for the halls of academia and the occassional columnist or media industry beat reporter, there is no other profession that makes it your job to learn and keep learning about how the media works. On top of that, PR requires that you apply that knowledge. Engaging in active correspondence with journalists, analysts, pundits, associations, and armchair quarterbacks (as well as all the strategy and planning that goes behind that) gives you unique access and perspective on the machinations of information and influence.
Call it a privilege.
Along the way, I've worked with (and continue working with) some of the most brilliant minds in technology. There is certainly no evil inherent in evangelizing what they do. Furthermore, working with these clients has given me a platform for talking with the different influencer communities mentioned above. I'm not only paid to work with these influencers on behalf of my clients, but I'm a ravenous consumer of the content they create.
That's why I do what I do — out of professional and personal interest. Save for relatively few days, I even enjoy it. End of list.
I don't deny that I've been very lucky in terms of the clients I've worked with throughout my career. Then again, I believe you make your own luck. If I didn't have enthusiasm for technology businesses, I probably would have either gotten stuck representing differentiation-deficient vaporware vendors or jumped out of PR entirely. I haven't had to do PR for unrepentant monopolists, corporate crooks, or companies that try to play three-card-monty with their technology claims.
I have always said that PR people are lawyers in the court of public opinion. Think about it. This country would positively weep if the courts denied even the most heinous criminal legal representation. While interfacing with the mediasphere, shouldn't companies and their people — irrespective of what they do — have a similar privilege, just as they would in a courtroom?
Yes, people, even the evil Augusta Country Club deserves PR, too.
This isn't about "spin." This isn't about lying, obfuscations, or shadowy Svengalis that cackle maniacally while deftly manipulating a dozen hands' worth of puppet strings connected to the information sources you consume every day. Every company and public person should have a skilled representative between them and the media. This skill, like most any other, is kung-fu that can be used for good and, sadly, evil.
Yes, the industry has a few very bad apples. Sure, we have the recent President-Bush-related payola scandal. Sure, we have the flack who tried to use 9/11 as a pitch hook while the Twin Towers were still smoking.
Oh! Waitaminnit! You actually forgot about the 9/11-invoking flack? Well, as bad as it is, you'll probably forget about the payola scandal, too. And, as soon as we forget about that, another example of Engvallian "here's-your-sign" stupidity will take its place. Face it: It's a natural tendency for any group (political, religious, professional) to be characterized in the popular imagination by the most extreme of its members. Call it a truism. However, all of us know that the one or two brussels sprouts on your dinner plate aren't going to spoil the juicy pork chops and creamy buttered noodles next to them. In fact, you'll enjoy the savory components of your dinner even more. You'll simply remove the brussels sprouts, feed them to your Aunt's dog Kahlua, and go on from there.
(No, Auntie. I love your brussels sprouts. Really. And I wouldn't ever dream of feeding them to little yapping Kahlua.)
The folks behind the payola scandal are rightfully getting their proper drubbing, as did the 9/11-invoking spinmuffin. It's the court of public opinion at work. The "defense lawyers" for this court — now stuck making shoes for the cobbler, really — certainly have their work cut out for them. I can agree or disagree with how they're handling it post-scandal, but I'm not going to damn them for trying. (Admitting fault was a good start.)
Feeling the need to defend a profession in which you've worked for several years is the vocational equivalent of Stockholm syndrome — falling in love with your captor. Or it's like that stupid part in the wretched Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel when the widow defends her abusive late husband, marvelling how "it is possible for someone to hit you and it not to hurt at all."
Feeling defensive? Escape from your captor. Divorce your abusive spouse.
So, I'm answering this blogosphere-wide question by not answering it: I have absolutely nothing to apologize for, or defend, by working in public relations. There is a very high probability that you don't either. Is PR "necessary?" Well, I have a role in business and the mediasphere and I do my best within that role. Like I said earlier, on most days I even enjoy it. That's good enough for me. I have engaged in my profession honestly, holding the needs of my clients and a resolute respect for the mediasphere in the absolute highest regard. Likely, so have you.
I'm not saying that PR is what I'll be doing for the rest of my life but, so far, the profession has been awfully good to me. Hardly something to be defensive about.
I'm going to go have a weekend now.
"Long distance information, just tell me where the manholes steam."


Note that the views expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect those of Phil's employer, its business partners, its clients, or anyone or anything that doesn't come from Phil.
Phil At The Near-Holy Conservatory


This blog not only discusses PR and media matters, but Phil's everyday observations about a variety of topics.


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