June 22, 2005

Dear Ketchum 2

Constantin Basturea's Dear Ketchum post is extraordinary. Whether or not someone inside the borg hears him or not, it is worth reading if you're the NEXT BigPR company to decide to do new media while it's hot.

That means, dear Ketchum, that if you want to advise clients about blogging, RSS, and podcasting, you should show that you know what you're talking about. You can do that by having senior executives blogging for some time before trumpeting your blogging consultancy; that's what Edelman's Richard Edelman and Christopher Hannegan are doing. The same goes for Hill & Knowlton's Joël Céré and Niall Cook. Or you could launch a blogging community first. You can let the results of your expertise speak for you before formally launching a blogging practice and a corporate blog; that's what Hass MS&L did. But you can't just issue a press release about it, and hope for a cheerful "Welcome to the blogosphere!!!"

You mean, this press release won't get picked up by Business Week?

Don't forget, Ketchum did try blogging back in 2003, quite bumpily, and then gave up. They caught some heat because they tried to use the blog as a promotional celebration of their Kudos winners--and now that they've had two years to snoop around, you might think they would have learned a thing or two.

I am going to say again that the few employees who were blogging with me unobserved back in 2001 and 2002 are the people who should be running the program. Screw the hierarchy and let those with a blogging foothold and something to say MAKE THE RULES.

But it won't happen that way. Because the big agency model hangs the balance, and its organizational, pay, and pricing structure teeter like Humpty Dumpty when people start messing with who's in charge.

Personally, I'd like to blame that JOHO guy. He's been showing Edleman how to find a clue, and now all of them want in. ;-)

[Disclaimer: If you haven't been following the bouncing ball, you don't deserve one.]