Quick Hits
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

Quick Hits

Paul Holmes

· Jeff Jarvis offers an examination of the way our understanding of “the public has evolved” that will seem familiar to most public relations practitioners, but is still worth a read. “Rather than being forced into a public not of our own making, we now define ourselves and our publics…. The critical difference today—the next step in the evolution of the idea—is that a public is no longer a one-way entity, flowing from the powerful—king, politician, publisher, or performer—to an audience. Now through our conversation and collaboration, ignoring old boundaries, we define our publics.” · With a hat-tip to the Institute for Public Relations newsletter, a new paper by Bill Ristow, published by the Center for International Media Assistance, looks at corruption in journalism around the world, and finds extensive efforts by public relations professionals to work with their counterparts in the media to eliminate the worst practices—although the problem is troublingly persistent. · The best thing I read about the connection between the Arizona shooting and American public discourse can be found here. Particularly critical, although it shouldn’t need explaining to anyone with an IQ in the high double-digits: “The fact that someone criticizes your rhetoric doesn't mean they're "blaming" you for the Arizona shooting. A senior public relations pro weighs in with his thoughts here. And the worst thing anyone has written about the response is here. Worst single sentence: “Any call to cool ‘inflammatory" speech is a call to police all speech.” Really? Is suggesting that people resist the temptation to pick their noses in restaurants a call to criminalize all potentially offensive behavior? Or is it merely a suggestion that people try to curb their worst excesses? · Dana Milbank of the Washington Post reports on corporate America’s continued ability to get its own way in the political arena: “Fifteen million Americans are out of work, thanks in part to reckless Wall Street activities. Yet corporate profits are at record highs, companies are sitting on vast amounts of cash, and, after a tough two years, business interests are again atop the Washington power structure.” And it’s not just the new Republicans; the Obama administration is bending over backwards to accommodate business interests too. · A perfect illustration of the ways in which the old rules of copyright and intellectual property can get in the way of mainstream media taking full advantage of social media. · I have a friend—a good ol’ Missouri boy—who is fond of advising his clients: “Never get down in the mud to wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.” Don’t know why that came to mind while I was reading this, but it always struck me as good advice. · Slate’s Farhad Manjoo declares war on the appalling habit of inserting two spaces after a period, which he describes as “totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.” And he quite correctly calls out the public relations industry as a major perpetrator of this typographical horror. Can we all just stop with the surplus spaces now? I’m not holding my breath. · Melissa Waggener Zorkin starts blogging.
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