Tell Us What You Really Think, Stowe

20 Jan ’07

Stowe delivers the rant of the year (yes, it’s only January, but it’s still a great rant) on the attempted hijacking of social media by PR. Pushing for candour from the capitalerati is a noble cause. The idea is doomed, of course – there’s just too much upper middle-class security at stake for anyone in BigAnything to take a genuine risk on sincerity. But it still quickens my pulse to read a great polemic – especially one that rings so true. Update: Brian Solis, who comments below, has posted a response to Stowe. Is this going to be one of those Sundays? Update 2: The Stowe has landed, and (hopefully) has the last word.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Calvert January 21, 2007 at 00:20

hehe true Brian. I have no problem with idealism and applaud your efforts.

Just pointing out what a couple people much smarter better than I said it:

“A blog is just a tool” Dave Taylor

“A blog is like paper it could be toilet paper or it could be a work of art” Jason Calacanis.

Those are the two lines that stuck with me from the Blog Business Summit earlier this year.

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Brian Solis January 20, 2007 at 20:49

Rick, really valid points. But even Luke had Yoda to help him know the difference between good and evil. All we can do is try to educate….

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Rick Calvert January 20, 2007 at 20:34

Exactly how are you going to stop marketers from marketing or PR’rs from PRing?

Welcome to the real world where companies try to sell stuff. Ever see one of those ads in a urinal at your local restaurant?

If they will run ads there they will run them anywhere. If sending out “social media press releases” gets bloggers to cover their stories they are going to send them out. So what?

The blogosphere is not utopia. It is just the newest tool in life. Kinda like the force Luke; some will use it for good and some for evil.

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Rob Hyndman January 20, 2007 at 17:36

I do not envy you the task that lies ahead. :)

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Brian Solis January 20, 2007 at 17:34

You sir, are right on point with the statement, “It is simply the expected tension between the authenticity of social media and the lack of it in much of business.” Hence the reason why a few of us are actively trying to change things before businesses over-pollute the social media landscape. Thanks Rob!

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Rob Hyndman January 20, 2007 at 17:27

Thanks, Brian, but I don’t really need to read anything else to understand that Stowe is right on point – and you understand that my post was less about the idea of a social media press release than the role of PR more generally, I assume. And I don’t personally think this is an Edelman issue. It’s simply the expected tension between the authenticity of social media and the lack of it in much of business. Which, as far as I’m concerned, is as immutable as the law of gravity. And that, unfortunately, is going to have the communications industry in the crosshairs for quite a while – between a Stowe and a hard place, I suppose.

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Brian Solis January 20, 2007 at 17:22

Unfortunately, Stowe’s post really misses the point. Here are two pieces you should read before assuming PR is hijacking anything (although Edelman might have screwed the pooch for the rest of the industry already. Post 1 and Post 2

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