public relations

PR is not a four-letter word

Note: This is an edited transcript of a Google Wave exchange between Will Reichard of CrossCut Communications (http://will.crosscutcommunications.com) and Benson Hendrix, author of Net News 54 (https://bensonhendrix.com/about/), a blog about new media. It is being cross-posted on both sites.

Several times in the last couple of years, we’ve been asked to present to budding communications students to give them an overview of the world of public relations. We have both been struck that their perception seems to be that public relations as an industry is equivalent to “spin.” We’re not naive. We know there’s a reason that PR people have been called “flaks,” and we know there’s a reason that shows like “Mad Men” continue to capture the popular imagination. Still, we thought we were past all that. We’re both huge fans of PRSA’s code of ethics, and in our experience, the PR industry is conscientious about doing the right thing. We’re both former passionate journalists who believe that PR has a vital role to play in modern organizations. Here’s part of the conversation we’ve been having on the subject.

Will: My theory is that PR is like legal representation–we’re all entitled to a vigorous defense within ethical bounds. That’s our system. But many of the people I talk with seem to feel the world exists in black and white, as though each situation has one “right” and one “wrong” answer. When I try to explain that situations are intricate and that the best PR people work to ensure that organizations are communicating everything they should be to their multiple publics, I see blank faces. I try to point out that all of us, every one, makes choices about how to present him or herself each day. We choose our words, our clothes, what to post on our Facebook pages, how to sit in a class or walk down the street. We are constantly choosing what to communicate. People seem to have a very hard time separating conscious communication from malicious manipulation. They tend to forget we’re all using these techniques every day.

Benson: One of my greatest concerns about public relations is that we as PR professionals are all too often seen as “spinners” by members of the C-Suite. This is a view that has been perpetuated on the profession not only by members of the media, including some memorable rants from Rachel Maddow – comparing one PR firm to “The PR Firm Hell Would Hire” – but also by a minority of public relations professionals who are beyond willing to please their bosses. There are firms willing to do what is necessary, and usually those same firms specialize in taking on clients whose public personas are seen as less than positive (see Wal-Mart, oil industry, nuclear industry, etc.). (And now to contradict myself, this isn’t exactly a bad thing. These companies can stand behind a record of providing jobs, bringing in money, etc., to a local community–if it’s true. When they get into problems is when they say these things without actually doing it, in the hope that the PR team can “spin the facts.”)

One of the main tenets of Edward Bernays’ book “Propaganda” is to not sell a product, but to sell the need for a product. Following up on that idea, good public relations professionals try to sell causes, ideas and concepts that might impact a person’s beliefs, instead of selling a group, or just a cause, etc.

Will: Perhaps it’s that our society is gravitating as a whole toward polarizing platforms. A world of “American Idol,” a world communicated in 140-character bursts, doesn’t have a lot of room for acknowledging that nuance is essential, that the “truth” is an intersection of multiple viewpoints, each of which must be clear and critical.

Or maybe it’s that we’re all so conscious of the controlled and mediated nature of communications that we want to dislike anyone who acknowledges it and calls attention to the fact. Maybe PR–as, ironically, one of the most upfront institutions when it comes to its motivations–occupies an important space as something we can point to and say, “We are not that.” We’re not so hyperattentive to our personas that almost any image we can project is by definition manufactured and, thus, largely impersonal.

Benson: Another reason could be that most people don’t realize the impact that public relations efforts have had in their day-to-day lives. Have you ever signed a petition for a politician? What about called in to a talk radio show on behalf of a cause? These are but two tactics that PR pros helped craft into the effective tools you see today. Many non-profits, especially non-profits that advocate, have taken cues and clues for effective communications strategy from public relations efforts of the past. In fact, later this month there will be a big communications conference for progressive non-profits (some of which don’t really realize how PR has impacted their groups).

How the public personally views each of these industries should be less of a concern for PR people (because for every person opposing a site like WIPP, there’s another in favor of the jobs it brings to the area). What should be a bigger concern for PR professionals is the ongoing view that we are nothing more than cleanup. Perhaps a future role for PR professionals is to go beyond PR and into Corporate Social Management, looking at the best moves for a company to make before they make them.

Will: Great points, Benson. In the executive MBA program at UNM, we spent a fair part of the program studying corporate social responsibility, which is heartening. Cultures change very slowly, but at least things are changing. Communications as a management objective is creeping closer to the C-suite. And fortunately, part of what managers are learning now is to look for a certain level of professionalism when they’re hiring public and community relations staff. I know you had mentioned recently that we’re seeing a lot of unskilled agents creeping onto the scene.

Benson: That really is another problem we in PR have been dealing with–the tendency for anyone to say “I’m a publicist” after watching 4 episodes of Entourage or Arliss, and the unwillingness of people who represent PR (either in PRSA or “stand-up guy” PR practitioners) to call out these faux-publicists when they do something wrong. I’ve heard stories about PRSA wanting to institute a “licensure” test for people to conduct PR professionally, but I don’t see that happening. Because unlike practicing law or medicine, you can’t stop people from getting in front of a camera and talking, regardless of how they sound.

Conclusion: What do you think of when you think of public relations? What does the industry do well, and what could it do better? Thank you for reading.

blogging, public relations, social media

When Bloggers Attack – Swinging Back

I love working in social media – blogging, podcasting, video work, social networking and more.  All of them give you ample opportunity to interact with others. Sometime for good, and other times you’ll find you or your organization getting blasted by a blogger, content creator or just a plain old curmudgeon.

While many people in social media, a lot of whom are incredibly knowledgeable, and many communications officers feel that your organization should “rise above” any kind of crossing swords with people online who are attacking you, I wish to disagree. There is a line in the sand where you should be willing to kill any detractors with kindness (always remember to be understanding and offer the honey-laden olive branch as much as possible) but once that line is crossed you should be able to respond factually, forcefully and passionately.

Many social media peeps, especially when looking at business social media, will tell you to keep your statements and content as even-keel as possible. You never want to engage in mud throwing or flame wars. I agree with them on this, but where we might diverge a little bit is my opinion that when your organization is being attacked, possibly unfairly, by online peeps who are unwilling to look at facts, or try to skew facts to match a caricature they created to attack your organization.  Then these are the times when you will need to stand up, use the facts as your sword and shield, and call out your detractors.

This isn’t an open call to start flame wars and a rousing round of “nanny nanny boo boo.” Keep your responses slightly snarky (maybe a little more. Remember that you want to keep a little bit of a bite to them). They need to be classy, but sharp as a razor’s edge. You want to remind your opposition that if they want to misquote you, or tweak facts to match a false claim, that you are going to repeatedly respond by throwing high and inside.

Look at how various political campaigns ran their social media outlets during the 2008 and upcoming 2010 campaigns. They brought in bloggers who already had followers, but more importantly were passionate about their candidate’s stands (or, let’s be honest, became passionate about their positions once they started receiving a check) and were willing to stand up for them. In addition, Barack Obama’s campaign built online tools from scratch to help foster their community of supporters.

Balancing the Playing Field

If your organization is going to have “what it takes” to respond to online attacks this way, you need to have a CEO who has the spine to understand that for a short while, the attacks might intensify as your opposition tries to determine how far you will go before folding.  In order for this to work, you have to be willing to repeatedly defend your position with this idea of “classy passion.” Again, humor is one of your best weapons here.

Look at what the Obama White House is doing right now with FOX News, they are repeatedly responding to FOX News when they believe facts are in error.   For a while the peeps on FOX News were calling it the “War on Fox,” or some such thing.

There used to be a saying that you never go to war with people who buy ink by the barrel or tape by the yard.  Meaning it was never in your best interest to cross swords with people who run the media, because they can come after you day after day for any perceived slight.  That used to be true, but with the advances in social media, social networking (for audience building) and online communications you suddenly have the tools to create your own media outlet to respond, “balancing the playing field” more in your favor.

Being the old rugger I am, I’ll leave you with this analogy. While you want to play cleanly as much as possible, and give people the benefit of the doubt, I’ve found that one of the best ways to stop someone from throwing punches in the ruck is a good, old-fashioned cleat rake every so often.

Community Relations, public relations

What’s your Game?

With all of the talk of social media and public relations, something I haven’t seen much talk about is the importance of community building and coalition relations. Not “community building” in the sense of using a Facebook group or Ning site to connect online, but a real, face-to-face community relations ground game – one of the big pillars of a communications program.

A lot of public relations is seen as how to spin the media – what are we going to tell the press to get them off of our backs, or give our side of the story out of some kind of “fairness”? But if you look at the two root words of PR, public and relations, how can PR not be about working with members of the general public, which is the foundation for community relations.

Community relations is about developing connections with people who agree, and sometimes more importantly, disagree with your organization. It’s about building coalitions with people and groups that feel a connection to your organization, whether it’s a school (like UNM), a company (like Apple or Microsoft), a candidate (Barack Obama, anyone?), and creating a community with them.

2178346655_92a7a61746 Some things to consider are:

Are you looking beyond your “borders?” Too often we consider the people right next to us to be our neighbors or peers, without looking past them to other community or civic groups who you influence. They might be more understanding of your needs, should your immediate neighbors be unduly aggressive towards you.

Do you have any boots on the ground? By “boots on the ground,” do you have any organizations or groups in the community who are willing to lend support to your cause? People who are willing to advocate for you, work phone banks if necessary, hold or attend town hall meetings to speak on your behalf or share ideas? This starts to develop like a political campaign – who are your most important generals in the field? Who can you depend on to promote your story?

Remember to listen carefully. The old saying goes, “we all have two ears and one mouth in order to listen twice as much as we talk.” Listen to what your constituents have to say, and take it to heart. It might not be easy for you to hear, especially if you have upset your neighbors, but it’s important to look at things from their point of view. More often than not, these groups want to be listened to, to know that you are taking their views into consideration. (also, actively listen – take notes, take pictures if necessary, post them all online with your initial thoughts and ask the same people you spoke with to provide their input)

Who are you listening to? This usually comes up when you spend too much time dealing with your peers, whether you’re a PR person commiserating with others at the bar, or a CEO or board president listening only to your vice presidents or fellow CEOs. One of your most important community relations weapons is the old “Town Hall” meeting. (which we’ve all heard too much about over the summer) But not all Town Hall meetings are like the ones being stormed over by activists. You want to take the opportunity to meet your constituents, detractors and potential supporters and give them the chance to talk face-to-face with you.

Public relations and community relations really work hand in hand, without one the other becomes much harder. If you take the time to develop good relationships with your community – whoever that is – you may be able to develop better public relations than any standard “PR Plan” can come up with. What about you, dear readers? What advice do you have for people (candidates?) who want to improve their relationship with the local community? Like they ask in the World of Warcraft commercials, “What’s your game?”

(Picture is Church, Pie Town, New Mexico, courtesy of the Library of Congress and taken by Russell Lee)

public relations, social media

A quick question…

As I work on a couple of new posts for y’all (yeah I know I’m late on these, took some time off to go to Phoenix, relax, and have my truck engine blow up on me) I wanted to ask a question of y’all.  One of the quotes from my presentation (and one that I think really strikes true) is from Albuquerque’s liberal political campaign expert Eli Lee.  (those of you at the Synerque presentation I gave a couple of months ago remember it).  I admire Lee and the work he does, even if he’d probably smack me in the jaw if we ever met (I don’t agree with him on all of the issues).

Now, I’ve paraphrased his quote to:

Multiple messages to multiple audiences via multiple media (sources).

But the original quote is:

Multiple messages from multiple messengers to multiple consitituencies.

From the new quote, it looks like I switched a few words around, but the intent is the same.  You want to get your message(s) out as much as possible to as many people as possible.  In this day and age of social media, you have more technological outlets than ever to get your message to everyone out there.

At the shiny hour of O’Dark:Thirty in the morning, what has left me pondering is the following.  Is it feasible to have “Multiple messages” when you are working as a communicator?  If everyone can check your blog/YouTube/podcast/Twitter feed/traditional communications outlets at the same time, will there be inconsistency between messages and how much of an inconsistency can there be?  All of your messages should come from one overarching goal, but is that enough?  Or will people look at your messages and examine the fine print for the slightest difference and try to hammer you on it?  And what will your response be?

blogging, public relations, social media

The Future of PR Firms?

Just a quick thought or two before crashing for the night. (hopefully they make sense) For a while I’ve been pondering the future of public relations and advertising/marketing firms in this new media world. (Why wait until now to share this with y’all? What can I say, I’m shy.) While many people have been talking about the future of the mass media in this world, I don’t know how many people have pondered the other side of the coin. I was talking with Crosscut Communications‘ guru, Will Reichard, about this after the Social Media NM meetup last week and we bounced some ideas off of each other about the potential future for PR firms.  So up front I’d like to thank Will for letting me bend his ear and giving me some really good pointers.

In this New Media Age the majority of businesses need to not only be in business, but also be media outlets. While news outlets are shuttering, laying people off or switching to three days per week publishing schedules, businesses need to be able to present their own talking points/communication starters online, circumventing the mainstream media to a certain extent.

But what is the impact on PR firms? Those who are used to sending out press releases and newsletters, and creating plans based around getting more “earned media” from an ever shrinking news universe. Are they going to go out of business?

Of course not. There will still be a need for PR firms to work on getting “earned media” despite the shrinking newshole, but savvy PR firms will shift their focus. In my previous post I talked about PR professionals (working for organizations, I don’t think I made that clear) serving as diplomat-facilitator-community relations.  Communications firms should be on the cutting edge of new media, social networking and content creation. They should take over the role of teacher, leading their clients through the basics of new media/social media, and building social networks (whether on Facebook or Ning, or checking out what Pursuant is doing and trying to match that) and let their clients go on developing messages, creating content and developing outside evangelists.

This won’t lead to the clients dropping the firms, far from it. Clients will need these firms to develop online infrastructure and create/manage video pieces, podcasts and other new media projects for their clients. And there will be a big need for these services, as many companies, especially smaller companies, won’t have the facilities to make high quality video or audio podcasts, and won’t have the connections with regional or industry bloggers.

(Now’s probably a good time to point out that people working in PR firms should already be blogging and connecting with others in the industry their clients work in. Or at least monitoring the chatter.)

Just my two cents to mull over tonight as we drift off.  G’night y’all.

Game Changers, public relations

The Future of PR Firms?

Just a quick thought or two before crashing for the night. (hopefully they make sense) For a while I’ve been pondering the future of public relations and advertising/marketing firms in this new media world. (Why wait until now to share this with y’all? What can I say, I’m shy.) While many people have been talking about the future of the mass media in this world, I don’t know how many people have pondered the other side of the coin. I was talking with Crosscut Communications‘ guru, Will Reichard, about this after the Social Media NM meetup last week and we bounced some ideas off of each other about the potential future for PR firms.  So up front I’d like to thank Will for letting me bend his ear and giving me some really good pointers.

In this New Media Age the majority of businesses need to not only be in business, but also be media outlets. While news outlets are shuttering, laying people off or switching to three days per week publishing schedules, businesses need to be able to present their own talking points/communication starters online, circumventing the mainstream media to a certain extent.

But what is the impact on PR firms? Those who are used to sending out press releases and newsletters, and creating plans based around getting more “earned media” from an ever shrinking news universe. Are they going to go out of business?

Of course not. There will still be a need for PR firms to work on getting “earned media” despite the shrinking newshole, but savvy PR firms will shift their focus. In my previous post I talked about PR professionals (working for organizations, I don’t think I made that clear) serving as diplomat-facilitator-community relations.  Communications firms should be on the cutting edge of new media, social networking and content creation. They should take over the role of teacher, leading their clients through the basics of new media/social media, and building social networks (whether on Facebook or Ning, or checking out what Pursuant is doing and trying to match that) and let their clients go on developing messages, creating content and developing outside evangelists.

This won’t lead to the clients dropping the firms, far from it. Clients will need these firms to develop online infrastructure and create/manage video pieces, podcasts and other new media projects for their clients. And there will be a big need for these services, as many companies, especially smaller companies, won’t have the facilities to make high quality video or audio podcasts, and won’t have the connections with regional or industry bloggers.

(Now’s probably a good time to point out that people working in PR firms should already be blogging and connecting with others in the industry their clients work in. Or at least monitoring the chatter.)

Just my two cents to mull over tonight as we drift off.  G’night y’all.

public relations, social media

Like it or not, bloggers are reporters too

One of my job duties, in addition to working on content creation (blogs, YouTube, etc) and writing stories for the university newsletter, is handling press calls.  I really like dealing with the press, especially out here because I get along with so many of them, including the local bloggers. I can hear some of your now:

Bloggers?  You have to deal with bloggers?

Yeah.  And I’m always working to get answers to their questions, or send them information about what’s going on around campus without forcing them to jump through additional hoops that the members of the traditional media don’t have to deal with.  Many bloggers covering your organization want to be given the same treatment and respect that you will give other members of the mainstream media.

Back when social media was called “new media” it was being heralded as a new way for people to engage in civic journalism – turning average people into journalists.  Now those people are taking advantage of these tools to write about their own communities, loves, and hates.  As PR professionals, we have to be ready to treat them like any other journalist, because you never know when that one blog post you didn’t respond to will be the one that the NY Times journalist will read and base a story around.

For those of you who haven’t read The Long Tail yet, run – do not walk – to read this book.  One of the concepts I came away with was the idea that a blog post can travel up the Long Tail graph, from a blog with relatively few readers, to one read by thousands or hundreds of thousands of people a day with a few link referrals.

Instead of blowing off these bloggers, even those who disagree with you, think about engaging with bloggers.  Answer their questions when they send them to you.  Send them information via Twitter – no hard sell, just a quick tweet asking if they would be interested in XYZ.  Follow them and pay attention to what they say before you need to contact them for anything.  Engage with them, on their terms first (via their blogs) and then on your blog after you develop it.

What do y’all do to engage these new reporters?  Have you held an event for bloggers only?  Is this something you’d be interested in?

public relations, social media

Organizational Evangelism, or “Darwin’s Bulldog 2.0”

Thomas Huxley, “Darwin’s Bulldog”

Recently I’ve been talking with my friends about an idea that business guru Guy Kawasaki has been at the forefront of for many years, the idea of “product evangelism” or utilizing your biggest supporters to positively promote a product or organization (i.e. Apple’s iCabal).

Following up on this thought, you should look at how to develop your company’s/industry’s supporters into a cohesive “pack” (for lack of a better word) that is willing to support and defend your company.  Non-profit coalitions have been doing this for quite a while, and businesses can learn quite a bit from these organizations.  Many non-profits, if not almost all of them, have spent decades doing more with less when it comes to communications and coalition-building.  What these groups lacked in financial strength, they made up for in passion, perseverance, strategy and volunteerism.

Continue reading

internet, public relations

When does what "you" say interfere with who "YOU" are in PR?

Recently I (and quite a few other people) wrote about the recent Twitter-gate post of Ketchum VP James Andrews. As I’ve explained already, I thought it was a mistake, and if he had a problem with where he was, he should have given constructive criticism. However, he was there to share his knowledge of social media with FedEx employees and his Twitter post got turned upside down before the end of the day. It sucks, and he got a bit of the raw end of the media dished at him.

As usual there is more than one side to a story, and Mr. Andrews gives his side of it here. This is a learning exercise for all of us on the importance of counting to ten before speaking when angry (to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson), but as my fiancee says when I screw up, “No one died, move on.”

So we are moving on to a question that’s been bouncing around my mind for a while. When you’re working in public relations, where is the line between the “public YOU”, that is connected to your business or clients, and the “private you,” where you’re allowed to have personal opinions and viewpoints that might not always be sweet and nice but shouldn’t cost you your livelihood?

When I was working at a former gig, a memo floated down from on high, stating that we were not allowed to write anything for any electronic outlets, or we’d be fired. I was told this included blogs (hence the reason I blogged under a pseudonym for many years). Since I wasn’t a writer, I didn’t know if that applied to me, but as an employee, anything I wrote, even on my own time, appeared to be held to this standard. (in fact a friend of mine got suspended a couple of weeks without pay for writing something for an online-only outlet).

Regardless of where you work, when you are off of the company time and dime, should you be forced to take Ari Fleisher’s advice to Bill Maher and “Watch what you say?” This is especially prevalent in public relations, the field that thousands of us toil in daily. We are seen not only as employees, but due to our profession, representatives of our respective companies. (or as in the case of Mr. Andrews’ Twitter-gate, representative of not only his firm, but also the companies we represent)

As people in PR talk about “Brand You,” the idea that what you write/podcast/etc. is connected to the “you” brand, discussion is moving closer towards the idea that the “you” brand, and the “YOU” brand are interconnected – allowing your employer to connect to and impose upon your online/social media persona. If these two brands are interconnected, then everyone must be careful about what they post, whether privately or for their employer, as the perception is these actions somehow reflect their employer.

On the other side of the equation, corporate America needs to change enough to realize that people are people. They are going to react to things that happen to them. If you watch CNN’s iReport or FoxNews’ YouReport pages, people have taken on the mantle of citizen journalists in a big way, and are reporting news in a pixel instant, because seconds have become too long now. Social media (previously called “new media”) now allow anyone to write anything anytime.

By recognizing the importance and influence of communicating through social media outlets like Twitter, employers will go a long way in providing their companies with the key element it needs to succeed in the social media-sphere: a personality.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? In this new media world of 24-hour iReporting and the all-day media cycle, should PR people be forced to represent their organizations 24-7?

Edit: Peter Himler has a great post, and an interview with Edelman’s Social Media maven Steve Rubel here.

public relations

Anything You Say Can be Used Against You in the Court of PR

So what is it with PR professionals and Twitter? Sometimes we feel like a nut, and sometimes we don’t?

James Andrews, a vice president for Ketchum PR, one of the top PR agencies in the country, posted a quick tweet to his peeps about his first impression of Memphis, where he was visiting a little company they were doing some PR for, you might have heard of it, it’s called FedEx. It turns out, Andrews was less than impressed.

whoops2

An employee for FedEx (the client in question) read the tweet, and this led to a memo to Mr. Andrews, his bosses at Ketchum, and some higher-ups at FedEx, essentially stating what he thought of Mr. Andrews’ opinion of his fair town. Peter Shankman posted the memo at his blog, which is well worth checking out. (if you don’t have his blog on speed dial already) Then the story was picked up by Gawker, who immediately took the whoopin’ stick to PR with Gawker-esque style. The title says it all: “Flackery: PR Person Excoriated for Telling Truth.”

My first thought after reading this at Peter’s blog was “Wow, how far down his virtual mouth did he end up shoving that boot?” It was very reminiscent of Steve Rubel’s Foot in Mouth disease back in 2007 when he upset the editorial staff at PC Magazine with a bit of his own brilliant insight.

Rubel Whoops

Ouch.

I started wondering at these two statements and the reaction they created, pro and con. Each one was less than 140 characters, but had the ability to impact a company’s relationship (or in Rubel’s case many companies with one media outlet) with the PR firm they have entrusted with creating their image, online and offline. As usual with cases like this, there is more than meets the eye. That’s one of the strengths of the conversations on Twitter (you can quickly get the gist of what the writer is saying in 140 characters) but also one of its biggest weaknesses (if you’re not following the conversation for several tweets, you are going to end up taking things out of context). That’s what happened here. With Rubel, the tweet was not intended as a slam on PC Magazine, but more a matter of what he reads online vs. reading in print. But you won’t know that if you weren’t following the conversation.

Mr. Andrews (I feel like I should have on some black shades and a black suit when I say that, and be a computer created program in a virtual life but that’s for another time) was probably just sharing his thoughts with a group of people he considers his “friends,” but he forgot one of the most important rules on Twitter, all of your statements are archived and Google searchable. What’s worse is he was going to FedEx to speak about Social Media, which means he was directing the same people whose town he was smacking to check out what he said about their town. But again, he probably thought he was just talking with his “friends” and as the old rugby saying goes, “no blood, no foul.” Twitter can get your like that, you’re involved in the conversation, and the next thing you know, “oh my gosh, I didn’t really mean to blurt that out, did I?” It’s too easy to slip into that mode of “chilling with my peeps.”

Since 2007, Rubel’s tweet has proven useful in my handful of presentations about what to be aware of when using social media for PR. In that one statement, and the response it received from PC Magazine’s editor, damage was done not only to Rubel and Edelman, but to all of the clients that Edelman might want to pitch to PC Magazine. In Andrews’ case, the damage was done directly to the client-agency relationship between Ketchum and FedEx. I’m sure it was, as many things on Twitter tend to be, a momentary thought and nothing more. But to the people at FedEx and Memphis, it meant a lot more. Memphis, like most town (even Albuquerque) have their social media savvy defenders who will bite back if they feel their home has been maligned. (One of the things I’ve seen in Social Media is a growth, or reemergence, of community pride, whether that pride is in a town, organization, or hobbyists).

There have been detractors of the person who emailed Andrews, his bosses and the higher-ups at FedEx, saying he should not be so thin-skinned, he should act like an adult, blah blah blah. While this might be true, Andrews, a PR professional, should have known that whatever he says online will probably be connected back to his firm and onto his clients.

This also led me to another question, one that I will address shortly. When you work in PR, does it automatically mean that you have to surrender your opinions at the door? Are you, and anything you ever blog, tweet or video record, linked to your employer?

Update: Chris Brogan has an interesting discussion going on at his place.

(H/T: Peter Shankman)