I guess I shouldn’t be blogging


Lets face it, I'm no Steve Rubel, Mike Manuel, or Andy Lark and probably never will be in the blogging sense. I have an average traffic figure that rivals … well, no one. I'm a nobody in the blogosphere. And, according to Bite PR's Danny Bernstein, if you don't fall into the category of "best-of-the-best" in the industry, you should take your fingers off the keyboard and keep your thoughts out of the blogosphere. Controversial statement? It sure seems like it.

Now, I don't want to misrepresent or forget Danny's main point: that we, as PR folks, traditionally get stereotyped by the media, public, and Hollywood, and we need to make an effort at countering that view. I couldn't agree more. However, does that mean that only those "A-List" types should represent our industry alone? I don't think so. Danny chimes in with this:

In some respects, I share her [Strumpette’s Amanda Chapel] concern. I believe blogging, as the delicate olive branch of PR, must be handled by the absolute best-of-the-best our industry offers. These are the Tim Dysons, the Richard Edelmans and the Andy Larks.

If we allow this wave of wannabe journalists and self-publishing addicts to control (and ultimately mishandle) what could be our White Album, we will fall … and we’ll fall hard.

Despite seeing his point, it's hard to see how only those higher-level individuals are the only ones that have anything to contribute to the discussion. Just because I don't have a higher traffic level and some amazing reputation in the industry doesn't devalue the thoughts I have to contribute. I've posted some that have quadrupled my daily readership. I'd like to think those thoughts furthered the discussion, debate, and thought among those who took the time to read them. That's the beauty of blogging – joining the conversation and making people think.

In addition, I don't think "every starry-eyed PR professional that blogs believes, somewhere inside, that it can make them some kind of champion of business." I blog because I want to. I blog because it keeps me thinking and, more importantly, writing. I don't blog because I think I'm going to become some superstar. The best example of this is Wet Feet PR's Blake Barbara. I don't think, if you asked him, the reason he started blogging was to become a champion of the industry. He carved out a niche for himself, contributed valuable content, and it raised his industry profile.

I guess the main point here is that it doesn't, and shouldn't, matter who you are or aren't. Everyone is a potential source of alternative opinion and valuable thinking in the blogosphere that all help contribute to better conversation and debate. Just because you aren't blog "famous" doesn't mean you should shy away from the medium.

This isn't meant to be an attack on Danny at all, I just ran into him at Third Thursday and he remembered when I interviewed with him for a position at Bite last summer, which was nice. Through his writing, it's clear he's a smart guy, but in this case I think he's just simply wrong. If one takes his point to heart, it makes them wonder what's up with this "guest column" at Silicon Valley Watcher, a blog, and the contributions to Bite Marks. Who do you think you are, Danny? Tim Dyson? 🙂

Bottome line: It doesn't matter, you're contributing to the conversation in a valuable way. People will always think what they will about PR and the people who work in the industry, and I don't think it matters who blogs or what about because a handful of people aren't going to change those perceptions.


19 Responses to “I guess I shouldn’t be blogging”


    You have an excellent post. I especially agree with “That’s the beauty of blogging – joining the conversation and making people think.” This is really the essence of blogging and why we should blog.

    You bring up PR and blogging, and I seem to grind my teeth when I hear about those people are blogging to get “efamous” or to make money by promoting the heck out of a product.

    It’s good to see that someone out there believes in the same things I do.

    Take care!

  2. Sorry. But, you bring up a good point that PR firms/people often get stereotyped. I just wrote post about this…and I would love to hear your thoughts

    “Blogging is really a reality check for PR firms” http://ebizz.wordpress.com/2006/05/01/blogs-are-really-a-reality-check-for-pr-firms/

    Let me know what you think. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for calling me out, Ryan. But before the entire movement of PR bloggers pushes my foot into my mouth this morning, let me qualify what I said.

    First, let me just say “thanks” for taking the time to actually respond with a thoughtful post. It would have been easy to write 10 words and just say “bugger off,” but you didn’t. Respect.

    Second, I’m not advocating for few PR bloggers, I’m advocating for a few bloggers to govern the movement. Having worked with a few Linux clients at Bite, I see how much the open source movement benefits by guidance for a few, smart few. Does this model apply perfectly to blogging? That’s up for debate. I do believe, because blogging is so important to the future of the industry, that PR people from various agencies need to get together and debate this. Ryan, you and I are both young guys, in 20 years when we’re the senior people, do you want this to be a chaotic movement or an orderly one?


  4. 4 Ryan

    Danny – I tried to be a little bit more diplomatic in “calling you out” than others. I think among the younger crowd of PR people you definitely have a good grasp on the whole social media thing, which is great – I just think your statements were a little too bold and misinterpreted to an extent. I read my post, posted it, took it down, then posted it again all because I wasn’t entirely sure I was responding in a fashion that addressed what you really meant.

    Thanks for stopping by to follow-up, your points are a bit clearer now. I think in terms of governance, it’s not really possible. I think that’s one of the good aspects to blogging – what’s written is by you and for us and it’s independent. I see your point in wanting more organization, but in my mind that goes against blogging’s roots as free-form expression.

    I just think that, as it is, the Edlemans, Dysons, Larks, etc.–the so-called thought leaders–are leading the PR blogging community already due to their individual reps. That’s probably as good as it’s going to get at this point. The next step is for people like you and me to lead the next wave of thought leadership. Maybe you should start your own blog because it sounds like you have a lot to say?

  5. Agreed, blogging is about free-form expression, but really, if we’re getting paid to consult about it, how free-form can it be? What if in the future 90% of our revenue comes from blog consulting/blogger relations … we may not be so inclined then to allow it to be free form.

    As for starting my own blog, we’ll see. My mom might read it, not sure who else. 🙂

  6. 6 Ryan

    I see your point. It almost sounds like you’re talking about have a formal network around all of the PR blogs out there with a few leaders at the front. It could work, but it would be a monumental task.

    If you see the need for this kind of thing, you should team-up with someone and try to start leading it. But, judging from all the chatter out there about your current column, I’d say you have some more convincing to do. 🙂

    As for your own blog – strike while the iron is hot, my friend. You’ve had a couple of SVW columns and plenty of posts to Bite Marks, so your voice is out there already. I’m sure you could get a following if the content was good – I’d read it. 😉

  7. A longer response … http://blog.bitepr.com/.

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