Influence Peddlers Mix It Up

Russell Beattie works on new mobile products at Yahoo. He’s also 6′ 2″ with graying hair, but I digress. Russell is pissed at P.R. people who pitch him without doing their homework first. In other words, he needs the pitch to be totally personalized.

You know, now that people in Public Relations have “discovered” blogging, I’m seeing a notable downward trend in the quality of the discussions online. These are the people who think they understand communication and people in general, yet seem to be the last ones to be arriving to the blogosphere… But arrived they have and now the signal to noise ratio seems to be skyrocketing in the wrong direction. I mean, the great thing about blogging is we were finally able to cut out these morons and get to the opinions and ideas of the people who actually contribute to the world! Yet now these bullshit artists are sort of weasling their way back into the conversation somehow and it’s annoying. And don’t misunderstand, these people aren’t trying to participate in the conversation, they’re trying to “influence” it.

Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion fame made the mistake of sending Beattie a rote pitch, and now Rubel’s taking it on the chin for this miscalculation.
B. L. Ochman defends Rubel and counters with the suggestion that this chatter could be a ploy to raise Beattie’s profile in the bloatosphere. She also claims Beattie is, himself, some form of P.R. person for Yahoo.
In an interesting twist, Beattie knocks Ochman off her horse with this comment:

One would think I would have been on the radar from the last time you wondered who I was:

When you follow the link, it takes you to a listing of “the twenty most influential bloggers.” Beattie is on the list, while Ochman and Rubel are not. I could call the list’s credibility into question, but I’d rather say, “What great Sunday entertainment. Like pro wrestling but with type.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.