Social Media Top 5: WTF II, What is(n’t) PR, & Mom-Bloggers PR Boycott

What the F**k is Social Media (One Year Later):

Last year at Podcamp Boston 3, the irrepressible Marta Kagan co-presented a presentation called “What the F**k is Social Media?” Now, she has updated it- it’s an entertaining slide deck that manages to put across some compelling statistics about social media, some simple advice about why and matters and how we might consider it- and manages to keep the original cheeky and irreverent style (though many of us are thankful for the “**” in the title

So What is PR Anyway? (One Week Later):
Last week, I wondered aloud how we are going to finally define pr, because nobody (I’m looking at you,”>PRSA- what’s with this long-winded definition?) has adequately defined it in a way that will keep people from portraying us as blood-sucking, name-dropping flacks– or worse, “publicists.” Aerial Ellis, on PitchEngine, picks up on the inadequacy of the term publicist, and knows that there is more to PR than that sleazy connotation. I’ll think some more- if someone doesn’t start a good working definition, maybe I’ll get something going.

UPDATE: Judy Gombita pointed me to a pretty good, brief, definition of public relations via her blog post: the definition was the result of a collaboration, seen at the “Defining Public Relations” wiki. Read here and give your opinion: does it work? I’m still digesting it. (The CPRS, Canadian PR Society, adopted it this year):

Public relations is the strategic management of relationships between an organization and its diverse publics, through the use of communication, to achieve mutual understanding, realize organizational goals, and serve the public interest.

Mom-Blogger Calls for One-Week PR Boycott:

A post on the mom-blogger community MomDot calls for a one-week PR boycott. It smells to me less of an anti-PR rant (though I am sure many will have seen it that way), but more off a weariness of product pitches. If mom-bloggers indeed need to step back and take a break, go for it. If other mom-bloggers agree that it’s not necessary, they won;t do it. it’s all cool. But if you do it, let us know which week (it’s not specified in the post) The boycott is suggested for August 10-16, which doesn’t work for me. I would like to coordinate it with my vacation, if possible. Thanks.

PR Agency Facebook Fan Pages:

Susan Getgood had one of the better reactions to the Mom-blogger boycott story. In the same post, she says how she doesn’t mind the concept of PR Agency Fan Pages on Facebook. Thanks, Susan. At the same time, personal-brand-in-denial Geoff Livingston (how I kid, Geoff!) is ranting against such fan pages. Valid points– self-promotional back-slapping and in-your-face “we’re great”-ness is interesting to nobody. But, as PR agencies, we also need to know how to use these tools. For the record, SHIFT Communications has started adding content to our fan page. Feel free to join up!

Airing Twitter’s (Dirty?) Laundry via TechCrunch:
The flapdoodle over Twitter’s private documents that were stolen and given to TechCrunch has been interesting to watch. Why? Well for me:

  • It has launched a great discussion (such as in Shel Holtz’s blog) about journalistic ethics– have they changed? Do these documents pass some sort of “public interest” smell test in order to be published?
  • It is a further lesson to companies and PR people that, whatever “journalistic ethics” are officially, TechCrunch will run by its own definition. The fair part of it is that TechCrunch’s editorial chiefs don’t exactly hide their ambition.
  • Admit it– you’re curious what those documents say– you ‘re only afraid they might be disappointingly boring.


  1. Doug, I think you must be working too hard and need the vacation! It says the blackout is from August 10-16, in a large black box at the beginning of the post…

    I think the definition Judy give of PR works…but I’m still thinking about it…


  2. Jen,

    I guess it didn’t draw the eye– I thought I had heard someone say it was the week of August 10, so thanks for confirming that. That’s no good, my vacation is the following week; they’ll have to move it.

  3. Thanks, Doug. As you can see the new definition adopted by CPRS provoked a surprising amount of debate (from individuals from several countries) on my “information item” blog post.

    Jen, I’m sure everyone would be interested to hear your thoughts, too. But please note that it isn’t MY definition of public relations. More rightly would be to credit the defintion’s architects: Flynn, Gregory, Valin

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