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    Online observations of public relations, marketing, advertising and social media; the occasional frivolity; and The Rundown show notes. Jump in, the water's fine.

    Please Note: Everything posted on this blog is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of my employer or its constituents.

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A PR blog-year in review…

calendarWow. I totally missed my anniversary of blogging. I posted my first PR blog post on December 9th, 2005. So much has happened since then. The PR blogosphere has been very kind to me, educating, engaging, conversing. It’s been a great ride. I look forward to continuing the discussion for as long as I’ve got something to say, share, and report. The online community has been a great place to meet people and share ideas. I’ve yet to meet anyone from my PR blogosphere life face-to-face, but I’m hoping to meet a few soon.

I’m not sure where to start my year-in-review, so I think I skip that part and go right to the closing. I’m looking forward to seeing how the social aspect of the web shrinks our world even more. I’m looking to see how technology takes the social aspects of our human nature and evolves it. I’m really looking toward the future to see how networks via the Internet become even more real as we jump geography to find people with similar interests and thoughts. And what I’m really looking forward to is seeing how this affects the public relations field and communicators around the globe.

It’s a great time to be in the communication space if you’ve got the right temperment. I do, but I’d be really interested in helping others find it as well.

Blog on.

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Friday Frivolity – The Perfect Gifts

Tired of searching for that perfect gift this holiday season for that one special person who has everything? Me too. I mean, my wife already has me – what else could she want?

Perhaps she’ll want an action figure of her own awesome self. Boing Boing points me to some great holiday gift ideas including this make your own action figure. There’s even an update from a reader suggesting where you can get your own! Other gifts include this naughty tech gift and this…uh, thing.

Go out and get yours today!

Wait, I thought internal comm WAS PR

cafe.jpegI listened to a great interview with Peter Vogt from eBay about internal communications hosted by the (in)famous Lee Hopkins pushed through the Comms Cafe podcast recently. I know that Lee is huge on internal communications and I appreciate his passion for proper communications. The interview was excellent, Peter having some great things to say about his experiences with Microsoft and eBay. Fascinating stuff. You should all check it out.

There was, however, one thing I took issue with. Now, I’m not sure how people define public relations in general, but I have my own thoughts and ideas. In fact, I’m rather passionate about my views of PR. I tend to look at PR as a parent phrase for all kinds of communication. I’ve felt this way for many, many years. The one thing that does shake my beliefs a little bit is how few of the broad spectrum of PR colors one gets to use on a daily, or even, job-related basis.

I mean, if you pitch products 50 hours a week to consumer rags, chances of you viewing issues management as part of your PR job are slim. If you comb through the minutae of details of investor relations tactics 5.5 days a week, you’re not going to understand how media training really fits into your job description. And it might not. And you shouldn’t expect it to. But just because I don’t do something often or ever doesn’t make it foreign to my field. If I’m a chef, just because I only boiled lobster and roasted chicken today doesn’t mean that suddenly grilling steaks is no longer cooking. Follow me? So I don’t frequently handle crises, but I would expect to know more about what to do if a client were to call with an issue then he would. Because I was trained, you see, as a public relations professional.

So imagine my surprise when, while wrapping up this delightful interview, Vogt said something that confused me and left me wondering if I should go back and relisten to the entire interview.

Peter, who has a degree in public relations, said, “I actually did quite a bit of PR work with my internal communications here and there… but I always found that internal communications actually had the opportunity to really make a difference in many ways, and that when done well it can be the true leader, it can lead the change rather than PR leading the change.”

Oh, internal comms can lead corporate change differently, and sometimes better than having PR lead the change? Excuse me while I ask this one simple question: what are you talking about?

When he said it, I nearly drove off the road (incidentally, I was actually driving when I listened to this podcast). To me, that phrase is akin to saying “I would never let my sister say that, but certainly one of my siblings could” or “I really hate roses, but I enjoy flowers of all kinds.” Internal communications is a subset of public relations!

Let’s break it down. Employees are internal audiences. Internal audiences are a public of an organization. Public relations is the management function that builds two-way relationships with various publics. Internal communications would be public relations to – gasp – internal audiences!

There, now while I hop down off my soap box, will someone explain to me what he meant?