It's hard to believe I haven't written a post in over a month but that's what happens when clients incorporate blogs into their programs and ask us to help with the content. I've been helping to write 4-5 posts/week for several clients and the notion of writing a post of my own at the end of the day is overwhelming. However, after reading some of the coverage from this week's BlogOn Conference, I've got to chime in for a minute.
Anytime that PR folks are part of the agenda - any agenda (corporate agenda, social agenda, etc.) there is going to a be some hot air and puffed out chests on the scene. Here's one of the things that kills me about PR bloggers in the spotlight. We spend the majority of our time and careers behind the person in the spotlight. That's our job. Tee up the right situation or opportunity for our client and then coach them on how to own the moment. It's exciting to be a part of it when it happens. And that should be enough - being the conductor, orchestrating a period in time that benefits our clients. For some reason, though, it's not enough anymore. Maybe it's because I'm also a PR consultant and I watch this industry more closely than others, but it feels like PR folks have thrown themselves at blogs to - in part - talk themselves up and show the world (or firm/industry/neighborhood poker game) how under-appreciated they are. Since I've been a PR consultant I've been to meetings and had conversations about why our industry hasn't generated the esteem it deserves. We should be seen on par with other professional services like the legal and finance sectors. It's goes on and on.
And so blogs come into our life and we think, "A-ha! Now I can really be heard and help my profession (read: me) get the attention it (read: I) deserves." I honestly can't keep up with all the PR blog chatter out there. If I had the time to "participate" in all the PR blog conversations that fly by on a daily basis my clients would suffer. I don't think many people have the time to read my ramblings either. They're busy, too. My stuff ain't that good. Given the information consumption required on a daily basis for a PR professional to properly inform his/her clients, I know that ol' Active Voice is going to sit behind quite a few must-read hard copy and online publications.
There's my point. We sit behind. That's our job. We sit behind our client. We sit behind the issue. The spotlight is just in front of us. We orchestrate from the shadows. Once in a while a client will turn around, and with everyone looking, point to the PR professional and acknowledge the work being done from behind. The truth is, it's not going to happen that often. What's your reaction? Are you going to blog about it and spew a bunch of crap to get the attention you deserve? That's one move.
There's a bunch of talk this week from BlogOn about a comment by Shel Israel (PR people will become waiters/waitresses) that Steve Rubel referenced in a question about this, that and the other - and another string of talk about Stephen Baker calling Rubel the doyen of PR blogging. Sometimes I feel like PR bloggers are part of the internet's largest sewing circle. We use blogs to gossip. We are smart about it though. We don't often call each other out. Instead we pick apart other programs and tactics, call for transparency and hide behind a bunch of "thought provoking" banter on our blog. How brave and honorable. The question isn't who's the doyen of PR blogging? The question is, who is the diva of PR blogging? Or better yet, who's not a PR blogging-diva?
But what the hell do I know? I'm just trying to earn a buck in an industry that doesn't properly recognize my talents, incredible intelligence, good looks and sense of humor. And to offset that fact, I blog to score speaking ops and bylined articles so that I can step from the shadows and jump into the spotlight for a minute. It feels good. The light is warm and the attention feels wonderful. I'll stay here for just a minute....(door slams as neglected client leaves the building and hires a new PR consultant/firm for twice the budget).