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Phil Gomes

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Phil's Blogservations

Friday, September 30, 2005

Posted by philgomes 1:53 PM
BusinessWeek's Baker On Blog Backlash

BusinessWeek's Baker On Blog Backlash

BusinessWeek's Stephen Baker is wondering about an imminent "business blog backlash".

How long will it be before a parade of CEOs and other top execs turn their backs on blogging with a dismissive 'Been There, Done That?' It's the rare CEO who has the time and energy and openness to blog. Jupiter's Alan Meckler? He'll stick with it, I'm betting. You can tell he's into it. He posts often, and it provides him a platform he relishes. GM's Bob Lutz doesn't post much anymore, though he did release a podcast last week. Debbie Weil reports that Intel's Paul Otellini blogs internally only every week or 10 days--to mixed response.
I'm not sure that the post-per-day-per-paygrade ratio is necessarily the right thing to look at right now. At this relatively early stage of the game, CEOs who blog are still taking a big enough leap as it is. Ghostwriting certainly isn't the answer. BL Ochman and I agree on this one.

NB: The real "business blog backlash" will come when:

  1. A public company's CEO blog operates without internal policy guidelines for the CEO's postings.
  2. The blog doesn't have internal policy guidelines for the visitor's comments and trackbacks.
  3. The SEC looks at the content and wonders why the blog postings, regulatory filings, and comments to the press aren't adding up.
  4. Fill in the blank.
People who took to blogging because it was the new-and-nifty thing to do were just kicking tires, really. I don't fault them for that, actually. It's just that, when you're a business leader, people take a harder and more public look at that kind of thing.



Posted by philgomes 11:22 AM

Jen McClure Interviews Me At NewComm Blogzine

Jen McClure Interviews Me At NewComm Blogzine

The ever-vigilant Mike Manuel was the first to notice my podcasted interview with Jen McClure of NewComm Blogzine. The series is called New Communications Conversations.

I enjoyed the conversation. Thanks, Jen!




Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Posted by philgomes 5:52 PM
Bye, Bye King's X

Bye, Bye King's X

I moved to El Lay and look what happened to my favorite bar in Oakland.

Yup... The legendary King's X will be sold and likely succeeded &mdash not replaced, but merely succeeded — by something lame.

So let me get this straight...

  1. When I go home for the holidays, I'm not going to recognize the house that I'm going to be celebrating at because my parents (however wisely) sold the home I grew up in and are moving about an hour northeast. In fact, I'll need directions.
  2. My top choice for a bar to hang out in — the one with the best jukebox by far — as I lament point number-one while in the company of friends will be gone.
Well... As I've always told my friends, "As long as we're here, it doesn't matter where 'here' is."

Still sucks to lose King's X, though.




Posted by philgomes 11:24 AM

"You Don't Know The History Of Pseudoscience, Ridiculous Claims And A Complete Lack Of Domain Expertise. I Do."

"You Don't Know The History Of Pseudoscience, Ridiculous Claims, And A Complete Lack Of Domain Expertise. I Do."

Yeah, I bit.

Thanks to Richard Funcheon for the correction.

Tom Cruise is giving mental health lectures here in Los Angeles:

The first lecture, set for October 15, is titled "How Psychiatry Invented Schizophrenia, and What Scientologists Can Do About It".

The second lecture, tentatively scheduled for October 22, is on "Handling Sexual Dis-Orientation: Out of the Closet and Into the Auditing Room".

The topic of the third lecture, in early November, will be "Diagnosis and Treatment of So-Called Clinical Depression with the Hubbard Mark Super VII Quantum Electropsychometer".

The fourth lecture is "Neuroanatomical Changes Resulting from Chronic Methamphetamine Abuse: Can Narconon's Sauna and Niacin Treatment Program Help?"

Oh, my...

In other news, I'm giving a lecture tomorrow on particle physics next to the dumpster at the 7-11 on Venice and Sepulveda.

Hat-tip: Radar.




Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Posted by philgomes 9:27 PM
What Price Professionalism?

What Price Professionalism?

Over at Creating Passionate Users, Kathy Sierra was inspired by Paul Graham's talk at the Amazon Developers Conference.

By the time we ran things through the deadly professionalism filters, the life, passion, joy, and in this case--brain-friendliness--had been sucked out.
Professionalism and creativity need not be mutally exclusive, but she has a point. In a lot of ways, this touches upon the perso-professional boundary that Amy Gahran and I discussed.

At a certain point, I had to add a part to my FAQ to explain to people that you can have a site like mine and still be a credible PR professional. (It's the number-one item, in fact.) There's is actually ample evidence to suggest that, even given this site's sillier moments, I've achieved greater credibility in many ways than more conservative, non-blogging folks in my field.

But, it's true... Often in the name of "professionalism", great ideas get spiked and prior restraint is eventually applied.

When I was guest-lecturing at San Francisco State University, I was amazed at the program ideas that the PR students provided for their final projects. (They split up into teams and "pitched" the "client" for that semester. Once it was a maker of microfiber towels. Another time, it was a shopping mall. They pitched to real comms professionals both times.)

It also broke my heart to think that, in the name of "professionalism", the spirit that birthed these great ideas would get squished once many of the students graduated and got jobs. People have to remain extra vigilant and work extra hard to ensure that the requirements of, well, putting food on a table and a roof over your head don't dampen the creative energies of an individual or group.

Now, if you don't mind, I have to post about the Five-Assed Monkey.




Posted by philgomes 5:24 PM

Google Comes Out To Play Again

Google Comes Out To Play Again

Google's talking to CNET again, I see.




Posted by philgomes 2:33 AM

Speaking Of Surveys...

Speaking Of Surveys...

BusinessWeek's Stephen Baker points to the results of a survey conducted by Blog Relations in London.

While the blogosphere-as-threat perspective (64%) continues to be inch-high curb that the industry keeps bumping into, PR professionals as a whole might be a bit further along in terms of looking at blogs and blogging as an asset than (I'm only guessing) they were even a year ago.

But... If 64% of the sampled PR people see blogs as a threat, that means that the 36% that don't stand a good chance of getting "Dell'ed" soon.

Sure, there can be threats... but the opportunities for credible, ethical, and creative corporate communications far outweigh them.

And PR folks are evidently beginning to understand:

But on the brighter side, a majority of PR professionals also believe that blogs can be an opportunity for companies as well. Overall, eight out of ten believe that businesses could benefit from setting up their own blogs. This seems liks a big number and it certainly took us by surprise. Perhaps it is because so many PR professionals have benefited from their own experiences of blogging.
This reminds me of an exchange I had with Dan Gillmor and Mike Masnick on a BusinessWire breakfast panel I moderated in June. It went something like this:
Phil: In terms of engaging in the blogosphere, I've always used the metaphor of "keeping the ear to the electric third rail."

Dan: Isn't that the one that kills you?

Mike: Sure, but that's also where all the power is!

I'm personally uncomfortable with the term "blog relations", but that's something I'm probably talking about next week.



Monday, September 26, 2005

Posted by philgomes 4:30 PM
Phil's Podservations: Episode #2

Phil's Podservations: Episode #2

The new edition is live, wherein I discuss new voiceovers, a new listener-driven feature ("The Five-Assed Monkey Moment"), reader comments, and — my latest pet peeve — the continued proliferation of the term "gets it".

Parties referenced in this podcast include:

(Manually download the podcast.)

Enjoy!




Posted by philgomes 2:02 PM

My Thoughts: The Edelman / Technorati Survey

My Thoughts: The Edelman / Technorati Survey

Richard Edelman and Technorati's Niall Kennedy have posted that the joint blogger survey is online.

This has sparked a bit of discussion — some reactions are favorable, and some less-so — so I thought I'd weigh in.

Take or leave what I have to say, considering the source, but know that (as I've said before) these are my thoughts and no one else's. (And I wouldn't have taken this job if it meant compromising my credibility or operating under prior restraint.)

Primary reaction: While presuming to dissect and quantify the "average" blogger is a lot like pushing Sisyphus' rock up a Heisenberg hill, that's simply not the goal, intent, or spirit of this survey.

I strongly believe there is a difference between what people intuitively know, what's held up as anecdotal evidence to support what they know, and what they can point to as the result of an honest research attempt. Perhaps before I started my studies at Annenberg, I was maybe more inclined to think that the first two were enough to get by day-to-day. Boy, was I wrong.

One criticism of the survey's line of questioning — and, I'll grant, it's a very valid one when not rendered hysterically — is that anything that approaches the blogosphere with the same mindset used in the media relations trade doesn't work and even bespeaks of PR's infamous hammer-and-nail inertia when it comes to addressing new forms of communications. Longtime readers of this blog know that I agree.

You see... You know this to be true, and I know this to be true. But what else can we point to in order to convince the uninitiated — those in the corporate world who live their lives outside of the blogosphere, looking in?

Intuition? Anecdotes? The occassional posting? Pointing fingers, laughing, linking, and crowing about how so-and-so doesn't "get it?" (Incidentally, this is the topic of the podcast that's going up this afternoon and I'll thank Kevin Dugan again for bringing it up.)

Sure you can point at this gaffe and that gaffe. You can even use your experiences to help craft your own PR-engagement policy, as I've had to do.

If the survey results show — and I strongly suspect they will — that a blogger's trust in an agency representative is far lower than in credible (and blogging!) sources from within a corporation, then everyone will have something to point to that goes at least some way toward confirming their intuition. People who act contrary to any such findings do so at their own peril.

If you want to get corporations to blog — doing so in a credible manner and achieving the level of desired transparency — then you know how to answer the survey.

Another criticism is perhaps that the PR industry doesn't really need more data and that, instead, ensuring that PR people are actively blogging, commenting, linking, and so on is enough.

I will grant that companies that have talked about their "blogging programs" while not showing any evidence of having ever blogged have gotten severely thwacked.

But this participation is somehow a replacement for — not a complement to — study and research?

So... Having honestly and exhaustively looked at the issue (NOT!) in a fast-changing world where research (and, yes, even this survey) has a limited shelf-life, engaging in discussion with peers and contacts is enough?

Seriously... Would you want someone with that attitude working on your car? Your house? Your spleen?

Patient: Have you read up on the latest techniques in abdominal surgery?

Doctor: Well...Ummm... I have heard about them from a number of colleagues.

Patient: And?

Doctor: Um... Nurse? Anethesia please?

Patient: Answer my quesssstttiiooo......*

Doctor: Nurse... Hand me that newfangled really-sharp-knife thingy.

Nurse: You mean the scalpel?

Maybe those examples are too extreme, so... How about communicating to your stakeholders? Customers? Prospects? Industry observers? Your answer to any boss of yours cannot be "Who needs more data to support a recommendation? I've been in active conversation with my peers!"

Sure, there have been oft-cited studies from comScore and the Pew folks that have some relevance to the PR trade. Useful stuff too, controversies aside.

In closing... As an active and critical consumer of media myself, I would greatly fear a day when the media and bloggers are beholden to corporate interests and afraid to deliver the news.

And, as a consumer, I also fear that those same parties will stop listening due to reactionary distrust.

I don't want to speak out of turn, but: If the survey is deemed of value to all concerned — blogger, PR representative, company, and so on — then Edelman and Technorati can take the constructive criticisms of the survey and make a second, better one in a year's time. (The natural extension of Edelman's annual Trust Barometer.)

Companies are looking for ways to coexist with the mediasphere and the blogosphere. Let's — together — just focus on moving the ball forward, ten yards at a time.

Comments and trackbacks are unmoderated on this blog, though foul and wasteful writings will be deleted.




Posted by philgomes 1:17 AM

"Releases. We Get Releases."

"Releases. We Get Releases."

TechWeb's Stuart Glascock gets a lot of news releases these days. Two hundred per day, as of his most recent check.

Rather than descend into the all-too-predictable "PR is an evil scourge" rant, Mr. Glascock instead theorizes:

So the little unscientific theory goes something like this: the more press releases, the better the industry is doing, the more jobs there are, and the more news editors are needed to sort the real from the advertorial.
His theory has some humor and elegance to it. However, personally, I'd love to have three PR people do an audit and determine how many of the 200 warranted a release, or if perhaps other PR instruments would have been better tools for the task.

Hat-tip to Stuart's colleague Mitch Wagner.

Update: John Sun caught that I missed the word "hundred" in the first paragraph. Big difference.




Sunday, September 25, 2005

Posted by philgomes 11:25 AM
Right On, Kevin

Right On, Kevin

One of the first, and still one of the best, says:

I'm weary from reading posts where public relations professionals pontificate to others in the industry about how they are clueless about blogging. Sometimes it seems as if we seemingly lie in wait, eager to pounce on PR people that try blogging, but make mistakes.
Turns out, we're on parallel tracks, here. A related topic will be discussed in my next podcast, which is in the post-production phase right now.



Thursday, September 22, 2005

Posted by philgomes 5:22 PM
Surprise! It's Still About Conversation

Surprise! It's Still About Conversation

First, if you don't already subscribe to Analyst Equity, do so. You'd do well to subscribe to the other analyst-relations-focused blogs linked in this post as well.

Second, there's a particularly interesting post about analyst relations and, specifically, the fundamental differences in the analyst relations trade on either side of the pond.

Our global surveys of analysts show that analysts outside the US require more emphasis on relationship-building and greater candor before being convinced (indeed, there's even a cultural shift between the US and Canada which seems to make many Canadian companies excellent at AR). Analysts outside the US have more interest in face to face meetings and, more to the point, meeting face to face is strongly correlated with better AR outcomes. Unlike the US (where spokespersons are less keen to travel and a majority of analysts at some firms work from home) other countries rely much more on face-to-face discussions. So, you cannot teleconference your way to greatness.
With more analyst blogs and analyst relations blogs coming online, there is a rich conversation developing in a relatively little-studied area of the communications trade, satisfying this need for greater candor... and enabling it!

Blogs, most certainly, help achieve this desired candor. Most of you already know my stories in this regard. I also know that, thanks to his blog, my friend and analyst relations pro John Sun is quickly starting to build self-as-brand in the mobile space.

In case you haven't figured it out, the days of the stuffy, personality-stunted, buzzword-spinning, unidirectionally transmitting communications officer are quickly going away or, at the very least, are being slowly pushed to the margins. The first funerals for this particular breed were nice services, I have been told. Flowers. Music. I even heard that the eulogies contained hyphenated modifiers like "feature-rich", "seamlessly-integrated" (sic), and "end-to-end". Someone sang "Wind Beneath My Wings", I think.




Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Posted by philgomes 2:38 PM
Edelman, Blogservations, Editorial Oversight, Etc.

Edelman, Blogservations, Editorial Oversight, Etc.

Okay... Enough folks have asked me this question privately that I feel the need to say something in this public forum.

For those of you who have asked me...

  1. ...whether I now ghostwrite or otherwise have day-to-day oversight over Richard Edelman's blog, or
  2. ...whether Richard Edelman has similarly co-opted this blog, or
  3. ...whether the two of us sit like crafty online Svengalis in smoky rooms with cigars and bourbons in hand, deviously plotting what we're going to post; when we're going to post it; and, generally, hatching some nefarious scheme to twist the blogosphere into some staid, polluted pastiche of the wonderful communications medium that it is and the key social changes it represents...
...the answers, respectively, are:
  1. "No" and,
  2. "Definitely, no" and,
  3. "Please take the #@&%$ tinfoil off of your head, step out of the Faraday cage, and hold off on hitting your 'Oliver Stone'-labeled speed-dial button for just a minute while I explain."

For one example... In Richard's post about the Edelman/Technorati survey (which I will address separately) as well as several other posts, it's pretty clear that we take our inspirations from very different sources. Do you honestly think that someone who blogs about Fields Of The Nephilim, A Band Called Pain, Motorhead, and Paradise Lost is very likely to have a reference to Oklahoma! on the tip of his tongue? Similarly, do you really believe that Christopher Hannegan is likely to use Evil Ash's command of the Deadites in Army Of Darkness as a metaphor for employee communication?

Among a host of other things, it's about rich conversation, diversity of opinion, domain expertise, and responsible self-expression. Screw with that at your peril.

Thanks to this blog, Edelman knew exactly who it was hiring. This site is a pretty fair representation of who I am and what I do on-and-off-the clock. Seems to me it would be foolish to hire someone you'd necessarily want to "change", especially when that person leads a semi-public life.

Repeat: No one at Edelman now holds the reins on this blog. Seriously, folks. I mean, have you even heard my first podcast, for Pete's sake?

All of that said, as my interactions with Richard, Christopher, and future Edelbloggers continue, I'm sure elements of our conversations might end up online. That's inevitable.

I hope this clears up a few things.

Thanks.

Bye.




Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Posted by philgomes 11:36 AM
More Heavy-Handedness From Google

More Heavy-Handedness From Google

I love Google. I really do. I use several Google online properties every day. It's like oxygen — I'd start missing it very quickly if it wasn't there.

But, sweet Buddha on a glazed doughnut, why must they insist on taking such a draconian approach to their communications?

Here's the latest, according to the Google-blacklisted CNET:

Google is planning a partner forum for about 400 people, including bloggers and journalists from major media outlets, and is prohibiting participants from writing about it, according to a search engine industry expert.
Now, class... What do journalists and bloggers do?
Listen and observe.
And what do they do after listening and observing?
They write.
I've brought up their heavy-handed approach to PR before. This behavior from the owners of Blogger.Com seems so, well, incommensurate with the blogosphere, really. (Must be something in the water.)

When I started out in PR, one of my favorite journalists to chat with was Andy Santoni of InfoWorld, who passed away in 1998. He was based in their San Mateo, Calif., office.

In one conversation, we started discussing business (which was Hitachi Semiconductor's SuperH CPU for me at the time) and I asked, "So what's going on over there?"

(I learned that I needed to block out extra time to talk with Andy. His observations about technology and PR were always highly entertaining.)

Anyway, Andy was pissed.

Back then, a leading PC infrastructure vendor held an executive-level conference every year in southern California. (Those of you who have been in this industry a long time can pierce my lame veil of anonymity here.) One year, the company decided to slap an NDA onto attendees as a requirement of attendance.

"Let me get this straight," Andy asked, genuinely puzzled. "I'm a journalist. I write about stuff. If I travel somewhere, I'm expected to produce some kind of product for my magazine. Now, typically, this takes the form of an article."

The man had a point. Vague promises of getting the inside track on PC development didn't matter so much when a journalist was expected to deliver copy.

Google can get away with this behavior now because, well, they're Google. They have a great success story, phenomenal technology, and enjoy a richly deserved status as the pre-emptive metaphor for all-things-search.

But this is the wrong kind of event for the wrong kind of audience. Sure, they got some heavy-hitters to show up — like Mr. Sulzberger from the Times, whose job is quite far away from the news desk — but they're irritating a lot of folks here.

As I've said before, I'm not going to commit the folly of betting against Google. But I do know that karma works.

Link courtesy of Dan Gillmor.




Monday, September 19, 2005

Posted by philgomes 4:22 PM
It's Bad Enough When...

It's Bad Enough When...

...you get an untargeted pitch in your inbox.

...that pitch is just a press release with zero context or front-matter.

...that pitch is not commensurate with your stated interests.

...the correspondent has shown no interest in starting or continuing an informative dialogue.

But when the agency's domain name for the representative's email address does not resolve to a known, live Web site for that agency... THAT IS BEYOND INEXCUSABLE!!

Before today, I didn't know that PR agencies without Web sites even existed anymore!

Let me repeat... If you seeking to do PR and are so not-in-the-game that you do not have even the bare minimum, static-brochure-ware's worth of an online identity, THEN YOU ARE NOT IN THIS BUSINESS!!

That is all.




Posted by philgomes 12:02 PM

Schwartz To Employees: "Do As I Say, Not As I Do?"

Schwartz To Employees: "Do As I Say, Not As I Do?"

Sun CEO and early corner-office blogger Jonathan Schwartz is, quite rightly, asking his employees to keep secrets.

So I would like your support and participation in talking to your staffs to ensure that employees understand the harm that can arise from intentional leaks. I'm not asking anyone to be silent about our news, or to contain their enthusiasm (I certainly can't), just sensible when sharing unannounced company information. Let's introduce ourselves to the world on our terms, not someone else's.
This is fine by me. Transparency and well-managed communications need not be mutually exclusive. I mean, I'm a very firm believer that any corporate blog — or sets thereof — must have policies that cover the nature of their content and the comportment of their authors, at least to the degree that their employee handbook doesn't already do so.

But... I seem to be the only one to remember that, in what appeared to be a quick and playful nudge to Big Blue last year, Mr. Schwartz apparently thought nothing of marching down to his company lab, snapping pictures of its talked-about-but-not-yet launched Niagara CPU, and posting them online.

Hey. He's the boss.

A former client of mine used to ask "Is this a strategy or a status?" So, which was this? Outside-looking-in, it felt like the latter.

Granted, Sun had been talking about this chip days and months before Mr. Schwartz's post. However, a taped-out, fully operational piece of silicon is a completely different story than a simple pre-launch discussion of its proposed functionality. (For those of you who listened to my podcast, this CPU was no mere "five-assed monkey".)

I've always wondered if this post was part of a plan, or if Sun's PR department hit Mr. Schwartz's blog that weekend and just kind of threw up their hands.

"Hey, Bob. The boss just blew our launch."

"Lemme take a look. Oh, dear God..."

"Maalox?"

"Yeah. Make it a double."

Readers know that I'm all for using blogs to achieve corporate transparency, but I also believe in managing communication. Again... The two need not be mutually exclusive. (Don't make me go into my "I hate to tell you there's no Santa Claus" speech!)

Sun certainly made no secret of its Niagara plans but, nevertheless, it'd be kind of hard to tell employees to keep things under the hat when — for the sake of transparency, the comforting illusion thereof, or the need to give a competitor a blog-borne wedgie — something can show up on the boss's blog at any time for any reason.

Again... "Strategy" or "status"? The answer to that question makes a very big difference in the case of Mr. Schwartz's post... and mine!

Does anyone at Sun know the answer? If so, use the comment field below.

Oh, wait... I forgot... Sorry...

In any case, if I'm convinced I got this wrong, your answer will fly as high as this post.

Thanks to CorporateBlogging.Info for the link.




Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Posted by philgomes 11:55 AM
"The Bizarre From The Cathedral", Perhaps?

"The Bizarre From The Cathedral", Perhaps?

John at GMSV pointed me to this hilarious exchange. It seems that Eric S. Raymond received a recruitment solicitation from Microsoft.

His response:

On the day *I* go to work for Microsoft, faint oinking sounds will be heard from far overhead, the moon will not merely turn blue but develop polkadots, and hell will freeze over so solid the brimstone will go superconductive.
I gotta use that "superconductive brimstone" line.

Funny, but it does underscore how what was once considered the junked correspondence of yesteryear can now be posted for all to see.

It certainly was the longest of long-shots for Microsoft, wasn't it? Maybe they were hoping for the slim only-Nixon-could-go-to-China factor.




Monday, September 12, 2005

Posted by philgomes 7:00 PM
Debut Episode: Phil's Podservations

Debut Episode: Phil's Podservations

At long last, you can download the first edition of Phil's Podservations, or add the podcast-friendly feed to your podcast client.

The podcast is "perso-professional", just like the blog. What does this mean? Well... It means that I may talk about PR, or I may talk about glue-sniffing pygmy baboons. In either case, I hope you're entertained. More editions will be published as I get to them, though none will last longer than fifteen minutes.

Thanks again to Stephen Davies for the name.

Please leave comments — good or bad — below.




Friday, September 09, 2005

Posted by philgomes 8:45 AM
Congrats To Christopher Hannegan

Congrats To Christopher Hannegan

Wanted to tip the hat to Edel-Colleague and Employee Engagement guru Christopher Hannegan, whose paper on employee blogging (PDF) was released yesterday.

Just as interestingly, I also very much enjoyed his post on gossip as an employee communications strategy.




Monday, September 05, 2005

Posted by philgomes 2:54 PM
Rubel And Jaffe's "Across The Sound"

Rubel And Jaffe's "Across The Sound"

I spent my Labor Day morning with Steve Rubel and Joseph Jaffe's new podcast "Across The Sound", which joins the For Immediate Release podcast as our industry's contributions to the podosphere.

(My employer and I thank you guys for the mention, by the way!)

Look for "Phil's Podservations" soon. (The intuitively obvious moniker completely escaped me, but not Stephen Davies!) It'll be... ummmm... different.




Saturday, September 03, 2005

Posted by philgomes 9:24 PM
Some Weekend Humor

Some Weekend Humor

There's been a lot of talk about how blogs can help and hurt your business.

But here's one blog that's just damn funny.




Posted by philgomes 1:45 PM

Branscum On "PR Vultures"

Branscum On "PR Vultures"

After Sept. 11, there was an infamous case of a PR person who tried to use the tragedy to promote her client even as the smoking World Trade Center was still standing.

Now, as Deborah Branscum observes, the vultures are wasting no time in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Haven't people learned? And does the author who is publicized in this release really think that the people in New Orleans are preoccupied with "reinventing themselves"?

Newsflash: They're thinking about how we're going to prevent this natural disaster from continuing to slide into the "man-made" category.




Friday, September 02, 2005

Posted by philgomes 4:00 AM
Update On New York, New Job, New School, New People, New Outlook

Update On New York, New Job, New School, New People, New Outlook

Again, I'm writing in offline mode, this time on the (nearly-four-hours-delayed) flight back from Edelman's New York office. On this less-than-full flight, I've set up a kind of bivouac in this three-seat half of Row 19. By the time I get around to posting this, I will have returned to LA some time before. A good thing too, because I was starting to go into smog withdrawals.

Yes, Fritzy... I even miss you and your uniquely insistent meow.

"Sleep deprivation," I once heard Henry Rollins say, "makes everything look really neat."

With every new job, there comes the period of meeting new people; putting the faces to names. And, I'll tell you, I met a helluvalotta smart people this week, representing such a wide variety of markets, perspectives, and communications disciplines. Looking at my PDA just now, we're talking about fourteen or fifteen people in a series of formal meetings, plus countless people encountered in the halls, in shared cube sections, on the way to lunch, over dinner, and so on. Add this to my trip to Chicago in early August — a similar experience during which I gave a series of seminars.

I also brought my readings for my Annenberg class, focusing on some of the earliest online communities like The Well. For some reason, I went into this Master's program thinking that it would only begin to inform my professional life much later and after several more classes. In two weeks, though, it has already shaped (and re-shaped) some of my opinions and assumptions. Along the way, I've met some wonderful folks in the program.

To paraphrase Holmes, a mind once stretched by new ideas never quite returns to its original dimension. I'm very excited by the possibilities I've been exposed to recently, between my work at Edelman and my studies at Annenberg. I'll try to share most of them here as they happen.

I'm reminded of when one of my former client contacts, Adaptec's then-tradeshow doyenne Suzanne McIntosh, told me about why she felt frequent trips to art galleries helped her in her trade. "It's a creative carbo-load," was how she described it. The concept kind of stuck. Perhaps the metaphor is a bit lost on folks in these carbophobic, Atkins-addled times, but you get the point.

Sometimes, it's just kinda fun being me. This week — jetlag, delayed flights, curiously malfunctioning "D" key on my laptop, and all — was one of those times.

(Incidentally, I discovered that not having a working "D" key makes it kind of hard to spell "Edelman". Take the "D" out of "Edelman", and you not only get "Eelman", but a new concept for a nautically themed Cartoon Network series. Obviously, that key now works again.)

Of course, this Labor Day weekend I'm going to be missing my family and friends. I'm hoping to talk my way into someone's barbeque down in LA in a lame attempt to attain some meager, ersatz substitute. I'll also be missing the Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Celebration for the second year in a row. If you're in the area, go. Also going to miss Burning Man but, since you're reading this, you probably already figured that out.

Well, my professor describes "attention" as being among the scarcest of resources today. Since you made it this far into this post, you might threaten to crash the market all by yourself.

Until next post... Sleep... Perchance to... Ummm... sleep, I think.





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