Five thoughts for the day

14 Jul

Would Shakespeare have been a blogger? We can only speculate, but I suggest he’d have used his creativity to mould a new form of literature. You see: Colin’s criticism has spurred me to defend blogs as more than illiterate ravings.

Here are five thoughts I’ve had today, all inspired by things I’ve read electronically (on blogs, emails, websites).

  1. Blogs are a tool for accumulated learning (on the wisdom of crowds principle). I posted an article earlier in the week giving guidelines for PR student blogs and the many comments on this have added substantially to the modest value of my words. In addition, Alex Pullin has a case study proving the point: she was asked to review some books for The Guardian newspaper. They had identified her because of her blog.
  2. Trevor Cook has met Gough Whitlam, now approaching 90. This brought back long-distant memories of the political (and social) turbulence of the 1970s. Whitlam was dismissed controversially in 1975; British PM Harold Wilson resigned suddenly in 1976. Add in Watergate and you begin to gain a picture of some extraordinary times.
  3. I keep hearing echoes of my first years in public relations. I joined a consultancy called Aeberhard and Partners in 1989. This became A Plus Group (I then moved on), later still Brodeur A Plus, then Brodeur Worldwide. Now it’s known as Pleon. Andrew Smith occasionally keeps us informed of the network. To add some news, I recently had lunch with Gareth Thompson, a veteran of the Aeberhard and Partners days. He’s since built a consultancy (I later joined him there), sold it, gained an MBA and is now lecturing in marketing and PR at London Metropolitan University. So we’re (sort of) colleagues for the third time round.
  4. Women read more than men (according to publishers and booksellers); women predominate in public relations (overwhelmingly so in PR education). Yet PR blogging is still rather a male club. Is it a confidence thing (most men, I’ve noticed, think rather more highly of themselves than is merited; most women go the other way)? So I welcome these thoughtful, incisive, creative, funny and colourful voices from the majority (and hope to keep encouraging others to step forward): Aedhmar, Alice, Andrea, Ellee, Heather, Jenn, Kami, Karel.
  5. I love ideas (does that make me an intellectual?); I read lots of books as well as lots of blogs. I teach public relations. So why does the thought of a roomful of PR academics fill me with such dread? This is not meant as criticism of the admirable Philip Young, but as a piece of self-critical reflection (blogs, like diaries, are good for that too).

Note how blogs have history (and aid memory). Not everything you read is freshly baked today, but hyperlinks and searches aid time-shifting and free association.

4 Responses to “Five thoughts for the day”

  1. Karel Mc Intosh 14/07/2006 at 8:59 pm #

    Interesting point about why PR blogging is dominated by men rather than women. Beats me. To open the discussion, I’d go along the stereotypical path of saying maybe it’s because men are more interested in the technical aspect of it. I know for me, learning html is a bit of a challenge, and I haven’t yet been able to do all I want to do with my blog just yet.
    Or maybe people think starting a blog is difficult. People often ask me how to get a blog? Is it difficult? Or maybe some poeple think of a blog as having to update a website, not realising that it’s much simpler to set up.
    Hmm, something to think about since this causes one to think of gender in relation to blogging. Well, I hope to see other views. I don’t like going along the easy, stereotypical path, but I honestly I have no idea why there are more male, PR bloggers than female ones.

  2. Kami Huyse 17/07/2006 at 1:13 pm #

    I am actually working on an article right now that will appear in the PRSA Strategist in August about this very subject. To me it seems a combination of factors: interest, technical know-how (which is rapidly diminishing) and first-mover advantage. Some recent Harris Poll survey’s throw some light on it, but it is still an interesting phenomenon.

  3. Ellee Seymour 19/07/2006 at 8:45 pm #

    Richard, thanks for mentioning me. The reason I love blogging is because it is a wonderful outlet to express myself creatively and inter-actively. I particularly enjoy meeting like minded people this way, I find it very stimulating and endlessly absorbing – and totally addictive and time consuming to the extent that my young son accuses me of loving blogging more than him (wrong, of course). I do feel passionate about it, and that is vital to its success and appeal. One of my posts was even read out on Channel 4 news today courtesy of Iain Dale, which was a real surprise. Unfortunately, I am experiencing a technical hitch at the moment with blogger.com and cannot write new posts. I am in the process of having a WordPress site created, it is currently under construction and will be found later in the summer at http://elleeseymour.com

  4. Philip Young 25/07/2006 at 10:03 am #

    Richard
    Look forward to meeting you at an academic conference in the near future!

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