Well that’s blown it

Notice on the door

I read Tom Coates post on flickr and made me think that I had seen a seminal moment in the world of PR and social media.

In fact, the last time I felt like this, was in April 2000 when I had just done a meeting with an incubator fund and had been confronted with the realisation my pension had gone up in smoke as the inmates were running the tech sector asylum.

Basically it boils down to this: PRs have fcuked up: as an industry we’ve managed to alienate one of the UK’s most prominent bloggers.

Tom is a super-smart and occasionally grumpy web technologist / user experience maven. He was one of the UK’s first bloggers and runs a thriving online community. He is very well-connected and it is likely that we’ll see a backlash from his peers.
We as an industry forgot some basic things:

  • Bloggers aren’t journalists. There isn’t the same contract of supplying content and receiving copy. Reading Tom’s blog it is blatantly obvious that there are limited opportunties for PR, at the very best you could hoped for was to be a fellow traveller in an area that Tom has an interest in
  • We’ve only thought about our own (or our client’s) agenda
  • We broadcast content out there, like pellets from a sawn-off during a payroll job. It’s not big and it’s not clever
  • A company doesn’t own the platforms of employees that happen to be bloggers. I will write about my employer only when I want to, when I’m proud of something they or I have done, not when I’m asked.