What Really Needs to Change? How about journalists making themselves the story (and for the purposes of this column, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch is a journalist)? Dating back to my time in journalism, it has always irked me when journalists make themselves part of the story. I want a publication to report on whatever their special topic is, not themselves. Granted, Michael Arrington has always based TechCrunch on his personality, and noone should condone his being spat on or the death threats he writes about— but whether or not people like Arrington or not does not affect whether I read TechCrunch or not— and that goes for any media outlet. Maybe I'm an old crank, but I really don't care.

Journchat is wicked cool: I have mentioned Journchat here, but thought it worth adding to a SM Top 5. Monday nights, a group of PR people and journalists on Twitter, led by Sarah Evans, get together to discuss a bunch of questions, and topics, loosely moderated. I strongly recommend it to any PR people or journalists. While I have missed a few weeks, I see people are still singing its praises, and my friend Christopher Penn in particular added his own unique thoughts to the latest edition in a blog post.

From Baltimores Examiner.com via Ragans PR Junkie blog

From Baltimore's Examiner.com via Ragan's "PR Junkie" blog

Mommy is not an exotic dancer. She just loves her job: I already got some mileage out of this post on Twitter, but it's worth repeating. Apparently a young schoolgirl drew this picture of her mother at work, and the mother frantically had to explain that no, she's not a pole-dancer, she's a Home Depot worker who was helping customers get shovels during a snowstorm- and that's why her daughter was so proud. I don't even care if it's real, it's hilarious. Plus, it illustrates the need for context- something we need to remind ourselves constantly in social media and all communications- quite well.

Can We impeach PR Flacks Too? I don't want to waste too much breath on Impeached Illinois Governor Rod Blogojevich, but Drew Kerr had an excellent post about some of our less reputable PR cousins (no, not political press secretaries). The specific point I am drawn to is the press release put out by Blago's publicists, crediting themselves as a source. That would be hard for me to top:

“Gov. Rod Blagojevich will go to Springfield tomorrow to present his case to Illinois senators preparing to impeach him, according to The Publicity Agency, the outside PR/publicity firm hired by the governor.”

“Blogging is a Business Requirement:” No. it's not. Really. I understand what Shel Holtz is getting at, but one of the smartest blog posts we should always remember is B.L. Ochman's “10 Reasons Your Company Shouldn't Blog.” Some companies shouldn't blog. Some will never need to. I can't see that ever changing. Blogs are great, and I'll often recommend them, but the first thing I will ask a client that isn't sure is- well, “Are you sure?” A better question to answer before blogging is, “Why?” In fact, if I ever outright plagiarize a presentation idea, it'll be Jeremy Pepper's presentation on social media in which he simply put up one slide with the word “Why?” on it. (Jeremy, I can't find a link to your post about that— I'd love to link to it).

Blog readers: I am riding the Pan-Mass Challenge this summer, a 2-day bicycle trek across Massachusetts to raise money for the Jimmy Fund in support of cancer research. Will you join the generous folks who have sponsored my ride? Click any part of this message to go to my fundraising page— and thank you!


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