PR for the Layman

Last Monday, our friend Nicole Antoinette from More is Better made the following statement in her latest Unetmplater post:
Maybe what social media teaches us is how to be a creative secret keeper, how to put exactly what we want in front of the eyes of the world, and how to hold everything else behind the curtain.


So, are we approaching an age in which the layman needs a PR-type to control his/her image?

Last December, the long lost MP from the one-and-only FIWK made the following statement in his post on the Tiger Woods debacle:
More than any athlete (I would even say more than any celebrity figure) since Michael Jordan, what we know about Eldrick "Tiger" Woods has been both obsessively controlled and crafted.
We're all well aware of how important a celebrity's PR team is to maintain said celebrity's image and status in the spotlight. Tiger's team did this the best of any team in the land for 10+ years, yet one seemingly innocent accident destroyed all that hard work in the same manner a single beer can turn into a full-fledged bender for an alcoholic.

Here are a few quick ways in which social media outlets may already be beckoning for some PR love for the laywoman:
  • I know that many companies (including mine) will search Facebook prior to hiring a candidate simply to get a better feel for the candidates personality.
  • A study from last Sept showed that 70% of journalists currently use social media to help in their reporting.
  • Towards the end of last year, we saw Facebook used not once, not twice, but three times in criminal proceedings. The first two were used to catch criminals, while the final case helped to provide an alibi for a defendant.
I wouldn't be surprised to see a few services emerge in 2010 catered directly to providing PR for our younger citizens who might be thinking of bigger and better things than what their weekend plans are.


  1. Well, a social media PR group would probably only work if they could provide services for free and make money via ad revenue. It's not like any regular social media user will want to pay for said services.

    This is different than a current celebrity hiring a PR firm. That person is already famous independent of social media and is using the PR firm to protect their image, both online and in the real world.

  2. I need to come back and comment on this because of how awesome a post it is. First of all your subtle geniusness is appreciated - "the long lost MP", the layman and laywoman links, the bender - and I want you to know that. I did think that when you started off with "the way a single beer can turn into" I thought it was going to end with the phrase "a full-fledged melee".

    Scott, how does searching Facebook work as a company? Most people have their profiles set to private or 'friends only', right? So how do you get info out of Facebook, track down friends of friends of this person, add them as a friend randomly to try to get access, what?

    Those court cases are craaaazy... and very interesting precedents. I do think Nicole is totally right and you are totally right that people need PR savvy now in the sense that you can't just make decisions about what to put online as if you are putting info into your diary... the recognition that this is basically public space has to be a factor in decision making. Now, is that common sense or PR-training knowledge? I vote common sense.

  3. The artist is wrong regarding Bender. He looks and acts drunk when he HASN'T been drinking (when he is technically sober). The artist's inclusions of beer bottles does not coincide with his apparently drunk prone position.

    A few Bender drinking related quotes off the top of my head (because I am probably a bigger Futurama fan than I am a Simpsons fan):

    Leela or Fry: Bender! You're blind-stinking-sober!!

    Leela: Promise me, you won't get behind the wheel until you've had some kind of alcohol.
    Bender: I promise nothing!!

    Fry: You haven't had enough to drink. Or too much. I forget how it works with you robots. Whatever it is, you haven't had just the right amount.

  4. My favorite Bender quote:

    "Bending is my middle name! Bender 'Bending' Rodriguez!"

    I don't care that it's not drinking related.

  5. I've never watched a single Futurama episode ever - crazy stuff, eh?

    Thanks Royce! I was gonna go the "I get bonous points" route, but wanted to uphold my dignity, so I appreciate the call out...

    In light of both yours and Aaron's comments, I'll hedge a bit on my finishing remark in the post. While I do think a PR-type roll will evolve in the space, but it won't follow the current celebrity PR route due to the lack of financial means. Some sort of "self-help" blogging-community type deal will emerge as the voice of reason.

    I think your concept of this being common sense is very much on the leading edge. A few years ago, the thought that social media would be what it is today was absurd, and it takes time for people to catch up to themselves. So, to say that self-PR is common sense is asking a lot of society, probably a bit too much.

  6. Good call Scott...that social media PR won't emerge as a service for hire, rather a helpful blog that attracts followers.