Out, out damn PR blogger

12 Apr

I’m invisible (I always knew I was a nobody). No, I mean transparent. But there’s a case for a small bit of mystery in a naked world. (I remember my pleasure at discovering that Tom Murphy was virtual reality. Though he appeared to be working on the west coast of the US, he was all along typing away on the east coast of Ireland while he plotted the global development of PR blogging in his spare time.)

I frequently browse and draw insights and news from Drew B and I’ve occasionally speculated about who he is, where he works, and whether he has any other letters to his surname. B? Bee? Beaugh? He gives little away on his blog. (After two decades, I also assume that I should know of most people in UK technology journalism and tech PR. I know David Tebbutt of course.)

Now Drew B has been outed by PR Week (7 April 2006, page 26): ‘One of the best-known bloggers in the PR industry in the UK is Drew Benvie, account director at Lewis PR’ (there’s a photo too of a smart young man who could be related to the British royal family). Drew Benvie: what a great name for Googling. See how Google knows everything? (There are two Richard Baileys who are UK PR bloggers: how common is that?)

So Drew B is a stablemate of Chris Lewis and Morgan McLintic and, at present, Stephen Davies. There’s a team to challenge Edelman. But why the semi-anonymity?

11 Responses to “Out, out damn PR blogger”

  1. davidtebbutt 12/04/2006 at 10:15 pm #

    Don’t forget Clogger (Jon Fine) is also a Lewis person. Is this a Lewis takeover of the blogosphere. Or, at least, the PR blogocircle.

  2. Ellee Seymour 13/04/2006 at 7:58 am #

    I have been commissioned to write a column for the Cambridge Evening News Business Supplement. Would you mind if I mentioned my story about the two Richard Baileys with your link as your site must be the best PR blog site in the UK (I go in detail about that for another column).
    It would be interesting to know what feedback you get from business, has it led to new clients, do you blog for clients, how successful has this been?
    At the blogging conference I went to in London, several PR people were there, including CIPR, and they have it included in their training programmes now.
    If you want to organise a blogging conference in your area, my blogging mentor Geoff Jones might be interested, he held one in Cambridge last year, the first in the UK. He is mentioned on my site.

  3. Richard Bailey 13/04/2006 at 8:29 am #

    In terms of fame and fortune, this blog achieves little. (Better bloggers than me have achieved fame, as judged by media mentions and Google PageRank; some, typically political commentators like Andrew Sullivan, have managed to make their blogs pay, but there are few of them.)
    I like David’s idea of a PR blogocircle, hence my rather frivolous post. In the US, Kami Huyse at Communication Overtones has been discussing the tribal nature of blog communities.
    I use this blog as an adjunct to my work as a university lecturer. It provides me with talking points and with instant case studies. It’s also a showcase and tool to encourage my students (Robert French at InfOpinions has done much better than me in this area).
    Finally, we’re all learning (students, practitioners, lecturers). Blogs are a playground. Social media’s probably where the action is (not blogging per se).
    Please go ahead and use whatever you like for the newspaper – this is all in the public domain. (Here’s my only Cambridge connection: I graduated from the university there the year before the IBM PC was launched in the UK, technologically illiterate. In the years since I’ve used and written about many new communication and information technologies – fax, mobiles, web. Blogs aren’t a breakthrough, they’re belated progress towards the read-write web always envisaged by Tim Berners-Lee.) These technologies have not fundamentally changed public relations – but it now operates in a faster, multi-channel environment with much greater transparency. Back to my post…

  4. davidtebbutt 13/04/2006 at 9:04 am #

    Darn it. Jon Fine should have read Jon Silk. There is no excuse. Silk is fine? My latin mistress was Miss Fine and she wore silk. I really don’t know why the words are interwoven (no pun intended) in my brain.
    Sorry Jon.

  5. davidtebbutt 13/04/2006 at 9:06 am #

    Blimey, I was Editor of Personal Computer World when you graduated. And my first freelance job after leaving (my choice, by the way) was to fly to Florida and review the IBM PC. We beat every magazine to publication. Yo!

  6. Richard Bailey 13/04/2006 at 9:46 am #

    PCW in the eighties was like FHM in the nineties and Heat in the noughties. It was the zeitgeist. Fame and fortune: that’s even better. You were there…

  7. Jon Silk 13/04/2006 at 11:00 am #

    Thanks DT.
    I’m a little concerned that a) you thought I was a lady when I was an anonymous blogger and b) you now think of your silk-clad Latin mistress when you think of me.

  8. Morgan McLintic 13/04/2006 at 11:35 am #

    There’s also my friend Ian Lipner – http://frontlinespr.blogspot.com/ – who’s been blogging PR since March 03. Not really a takeover though given there are now 440 PR-flavored blogs.
    The connection is that I met both Drew and Stephen via their blogs. More proof that blogging can open new doors.

  9. Stephen 13/04/2006 at 11:41 am #

    Hi Richard,
    I knew Drew worked at LEWIS previous to starting my internship. I had a hunch, asked him and he said yes – with no mention of me not to ‘out’ him whatsoever.
    Personally I quite admire him for not self-promoting himself like I and so many other PR bloggers do.

  10. Drew Benvie 13/04/2006 at 1:37 pm #

    What a spectacular post Richard. And I like your choice of words. Young. Smart. Royal?!
    To answer your question though, I’m certainly not trying to keep my identity a secret – I’m just not in it for the self-publicity that’s all. I’m just a participant. And as a PR person, my day job is to advise my clients on all this (and PR 1.0 too) so that’s what’s most important to me, not my name.
    PS – Jon Fine?! I like that! I’ll stick to Clogger though 🙂
    PPS – And as Morgan points out, I think Ian Lipner was here before the lot of us.

  11. Tech PR Gems 14/04/2006 at 9:51 pm #

    The veil is lifted, the curtains parted

    In the spirit of transparency in blogging, fueled by the recent unveiling of anonymous and semi-anonymous PR bloggers, it’s time to part the curtains and show the men and women behind the machine that IS the Tech PR Gems blog.

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