CustomScoop VP Jennifer Zingsheim and I were delighted to welcome Jason Falls to the Roundtable this week. Jason is and blogger and director of social media at Doe-Anderson, a brand-building agency in Louisville, Kentucky. He writes the Social Media Explorer blog, which has become a new favorite of mine in recent weeks.
We covered a number of great topics, but I was especially interested in Jason’s reaction to the Gina Trapani PR Spam Wiki incident that caught fire earlier this week. Jason reacted quite strongly to the creation of the wiki and is one of the leaders in the push for a realistic, rational discussion about how we might curb PR spam in the future.
PR Spam Wiki: Everyone knows the story by now; Gina Trapani was receiving pitches at her personal email address, and fought back against the spammers by listing their emails on a public wiki. Jason feels the wiki is the crux of the issue, because it gives anyone the right to publicly out and humiliate other professionals. He notes that while the PR industry is definitely to blame for these situations, journalists and bloggers do rely on pitches in many cases, and we should be working together constructively. Jen points out that PR firms may also help themselves by learning to push back, as often it is the clients that are pushing for blast releases about “nonsense” rather than news.
Women in PR: Bill Sledzik had a great post earlier this week, (which we reprinted on Media Bullseye) noting the dearth of men not only in his PR classes at Kent State, but also in PR as a whole. Jen wonders if the lack of balance could be harming the industry, as it is important to get all perspectives on some issues. As a man in the field, Jason notes that the disparity is definitely there, but he thinks it might be an issue of gender steretypes, as women are often viewed as better at relationship-building. I wonder if the lack of men is really such a big deal, since there are plenty of professions dominated by men.
Twitter Going Mainstream?: After we noticed a Business Week article on Twitter this week speculating that my favorite social network might ultimately become as big as Facebook in terms of membership, I wondered if this was necessarily a good thing. We discuss whether the notoriously bug-plagued network could keep up with the technological demands of a massive increase and users, and whether it could finally find a model to turn a profit.