Adventures in PR

29 Jan ’07

After the recent brouhaha over public relations in a Web 2.0 world, I couldn’t help but note a couple of recent moments that illustrated for me the occasional jarring disconnects one encounters between reality and the way some seek to present it.

The first was Dick Cheney’s recent festival of fantasy with Wolf Blitzer. Cheney’s increasingly common “Baghdad Bob” moments are beginning to attract more laughter than anything else – but they are still proof, as though we needed it, that Government – how does one say this – frequently seeks to create distance between truth and the public’s perception of it.

The second was Bill Gates’ efforts to lean into the spin on early reports of the Vista launch – an effort cheerily assisted by an obliging AP that ensured that webpages everywhere would contain headlines with the words “Gates”, “Vista” and “Wow” – an impression once again some considerable distance from reality, at least based on the many early reports that have trickled out these past few weeks.

Reminders – once again, as though we needed them – that there are many more people and much more money invested in broadcasting – um – creative impressions of reality – than there are aligned against that effort, and that hopes that Web 2.0 culture or technology will inject more authenticity into messaging – whether delivered by PR, advertising or anything else – are misplaced.

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