I joined (late) a motley crew of bloggers who had decamped to a North London eatery the other night, gathered together by “Don’t Panic” to twitter on the subject of social networking. The posse included Stuart Bruce – Wolfstar http://www.stuartbruce.biz/ Simon Collister – Edelman http://simoncollister.typepad.com/ Stephen Davies – Webitpr http://www.prblogger.com/ Ian Delaney – NMK http://twopointouch.com/ Simon Wakeman –http://www.simonwakeman.com/blog Neville Hobson http://www.nevillehobson.com/There’s a worry that bloggers don’t get out enough – so I suppose the encounter proved that a bunch of pasty faced geezers can indulge in interesting exchanges on life, death and the bitchy warblings of the blogosphere and have a first rate meal. The web is a hyped stratosphere and can be both boring and indulgent. However, we the bloggers really have to distance ourselves from our egos. At times the evening descended into a blizzard of jargon and references to blogs that the great unwashed would hardly bother to reference. Bloggers must not become so self indulgent that they can’t see elephant traps. To meet a baleen of bloggers in a confined space underlined that although we have the skill to pontificate, we must all seek to challenge ourselves and continually develop the art of pertinent and meaningful cut through, rather than being diverted by our global cabal.
I do have an anxiety about what the ‘blogosphere’ is doing to the craft of PR, and more importantly, to its diminishing ethics. We touched on the sinners and the spikers but it seemed to be a subject that was not going to be truly scrutinized. For me I took away something very disturbing from the evening which was that too many PR professionals do not know what a blog is, and see it as just another peripheral tool for marketing. I was shocked to hear that but had to bow to these bloggers’ superior knowledge as ones who had more direct experience of incompetent PR’s.
I am preoccupied with content and delivery, because although blogging is very powerful so many bloggers don’t truly understand the issue of content. Let’s also not forget the greater issue which is, who is picking up the tab for our talent? Too many bloggers are harvesting vast sums of money for voicing the corrupt opinion of their paymaster who sees the art of the blog as a vibrant tool for improperganda. John Stauber once said, “Watching the public relations industry discuss ethics is a little like watching tourists from a foreign country attempting to speak a language they barely understand. They seem enthusiastic and sincere, and many of the right words come out of their mouths, but they just don’t quite manage to make sense. The problem, fundamentally, is that PR is preoccupied with symbolism, imagery and perception rather than substance”
So let’s focus on enhancing knowledge and outing corruption before the sands cover the tracks of the baddies.