I spoke on a panel last week at BlogOn and I seem to have caused a bit of a stir, or so it appears by what I've been reading in the blogosphere.
eWeek's aging Spencer the Kat wrote that I " antagonized the marketeers by saying blogging will reduce all PR people to careers in food service ..." Referring to the same incident, publicist-blogger Jeremy Pepper cited me for having created the conference's rudest moment.
By my recollection, my entire quote was something to the effect of:
"Blogging and the social media are indeed disrupting marketing, particularly PR people. I see PR practitioners today in a change or die situation. They need to move from traditional command and control practices to listen and participate. For those who don't, I see a future for them in the restaurant service industry."
I certainly did not say "all," as the Kat claimed and anyone knows me will tell you that I may enjoy a little controversy but I am very rarely rude. This is almost a direct lift from Naked Conversations chapter called Survival of the Publicists. The link is an early version and the restaurant service comment has been added to it as it is published. My intention was not to be rude. I said what I said without joy because I was in the PR business for about 25 years and it makes me quite sad that the business has a seriously tainted image. It also, as traditionally practiced, is rising in expense and of diminishing effectiveness.
PR folk need to become facilitators. They need to use social media to listen to what is being said about their clients and to help their clients hear and understand what is being said. Taking shots at the messenger is an old and perhaps traditional practice--but it seldom diminishes the truth in the message.