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So is anyone else the doyen of PR blogging?


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October 07, 2005

So is anyone else the doyen of PR blogging?

Stephen Baker

I unwittingly triggered a little firestorm in the PR community by calling Steve Rubel the "doyen" of PR blogging. Read the exchange on Constantin Basturea?? blog.

I'll admit, "Doyen" wasn't the right word for Rubel. I just looked it up, and it means "the eldest or senior member of a group." Steve's not that old, nor was he the first PR blogger. But he's got a very popular blog. Is it less influential than I think? What word should I have chosen instead of doyen?

06:40 AM

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I just ran across this post by Constantin Basturea on Business Week crowning Steve Rubel the "doyen of PR blogging."

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Tracked on October 10, 2005 02:12 PM

?? And the Real Doyen Is....Phil Gomes! from Media Orchard

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Tracked on October 10, 2005 02:49 PM

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Tracked on October 10, 2005 07:05 PM

I think the problem is referring to Steve Rubel as a PR blogger. I read Steve's blog and he occasionally has some good content, but I can think of a dozen other PR people with much more interesting and informative blogs. I wouldn't have a problem with describing him as "the doyen of blog consultants", just not PR. He no longer even describes himself as that, having removed his PR tagline from his blog sometime ago (after the last dust-up involving him when he said he didn't blog about PR!)

Much better PR blogs are produced by people such as Jeremy Pepper, Trevor Cook, Niall Cook, Hans Cullin, Philip Young, Neville Hobson, Piaras Kelly, Stephen Davies, Tom Murphy and even humbly include myself!

Steve Rubel writes a good blog and blogs, I just don't think he speaks for the public relations profession. It's bit like in the UK when Max Clifford is quoted/interviewed as a PR expert. He isn't. He is a brilliant celebrity publicist, but he's no PR professional.

Posted by: Stuart Bruce, PR Consultant at October 7, 2005 08:48 AM

Stuart, I beg to differ. I definitely write about PR. Did you read last night's post about the PR industry. I just take a broader purview than others by writing about marketing, media and technology. It's a little naive of us to think that blogs need to fit into neat little boxes by their beat. They can and should cover whatever they want.

Posted by: Steve Rubel at October 7, 2005 11:47 AM

Oh yeah and PR is still very much in my tagline. Go check out the site.

Posted by: Steve Rubel at October 7, 2005 11:49 AM

Stuart is technically right - PR was out of the Micropersuasion tagline for a few days, after the trackback post, and then put back in there. Currently, it is part of the tagline. So, Steve is technically right as well. Isn't it nice when everyone can be right?

As for Doyen of PR Blogs, there are many people that can claim that title, and are likely more influential in PR than Steve. Micropersuasion occasionally covers PR, but more often covers blogging or podcasting or the meme of the week.

Writing about PR does not necessarily make it a PR blog, though. If that's true, Blogspotting is a PR blog, as you have written about the industry as well.

Posted by: Jeremy Pepper at October 7, 2005 04:27 PM

Well, I'm 43 ... perhaps that makes me the oldest PR blogger??

I don't think of Steve Rubel as a PR blogger as much as he is a tech blogger who just happens to work for a PR firm. In fact, many of the PR bloggers out there don't really cover their own profession as much as they do the tech industry.

Posted by: John Wagner at October 7, 2005 05:07 PM

I'll tell ya what, I've spent many hours trying to bring you the news and I ain't done yet. I haven't focused on blogs, yet. I'll start right here ok?! Then, I'll add my blog page here:

http://www.downtownpublishing.com/blog.html

although my whole site is one huge blog, that I created.

I also have a community for you to join, comming right up.

Posted by: Bryan Klabunde at October 7, 2005 08:32 PM

Tom Murphy of PR Opinions is likely the 'doyen' as he seems to have been around the longest. Visit http://www.natterjackpr.com/

For Rubel, the phrase "media darling" - particularly business media darling - seems most appropriate.

He is appreciated by the blog consultants. There is a certain symbiotic relationship at work there, in my opinion.

No offense intended, but I fear the penchant for contacting Rubel as a PR profession spokesperson by MSM shows either a lack of understanding of the PR community, lack of understanding of PR or a desire to seek out visibility and perceive that as leadership.

There are, of course, other possible reasons.

Posted by: Robert French at October 7, 2005 08:44 PM

According to Stuart's site he is a "Guru," which is better than "thought leader" or something equally banal. I agree Steve is not a "Doyen," but having met him this week in New York, I would say he is a real "Mench" (good person).

Posted by: Gary Goldhammer at October 8, 2005 11:05 AM

Frankly, I think a distinction needs to be made between PR bloggers (like Steve) and PR-people-who-blog (like me). There's a huge difference.

Posted by: Phil Gomes at October 8, 2005 11:20 AM

Steve, a bunch of guys just showed up at my door wearing dark sunglasses and suits. They were carrying syringes and said they had to take a blood sample back with them. They are concerned that I am doping. My blogging can't be that interesting they say without the help of performance enhancement drugs. Sound far-fetched? Maybe not.

Posted by: Steve Rubel at October 9, 2005 08:02 AM

"Doyen" was certainly the wrong word to use about Steve; it would have been the wrong word to describe any of us (I'm including our potential "doyennes", too).

Why? Well, communities tend to anoint their own doyens... doyens aren't annointed from without. Any of us who claimed to be, or accepted the title of, "Doyen of PR Bloggers" would be the laughingstock of his colleagues.

"Maven" would have been better... Steve has a nose for interesting stuff, and is a prolific writer. He's a must-read.

But influential? For influence, you'd go to Amy Gahran, Constantin Basturea, Elizabeth Albrycht, Josh Hallett, David Parmet, Jeremy Pepper, Hugh McLeod, Hobson & Holtz, Mike Manuel, Lee Hopkins...

There's a bunch of good communicators out there pushing the thinking about the profession (Significantly, in most cases, they eschew "PR" as a focus area, preferring to look at "communication"). That's not Steve's space, as I think he'd be the first to admit... as I said, he's much more of a maven.

Posted by: Allan Jenkins at October 9, 2005 02:48 PM

Stuart is technically right - PR was out of the Micropersuasion tagline for a few days, after the trackback post, and then put back in there. Currently, it is part of the tagline. So, Steve is technically right as well. Isn't it nice when everyone can be right?

As for Doyen of PR Blogs, there are many people that can claim that title, and are likely more influential in PR as Steve. Micropersuasion occasionally covers PR, but more often covers blogging or podcasting or the meme of the week. The correct title of this post should have been "Who is the doyen" not "is anyone else the doyen."

Writing about PR does not make it a PR blog, though. If that's true, Blogspotting is a PR blog, as you have written about the industry as well.

As for the doping comment - that's just odd. But, those that are PR bloggers always knew Rubel couldn't handle criticism well, and that must be his attempt at deflecting criticism.

Posted by: Jeremy Pepper at October 9, 2005 04:13 PM

This debate tickles me very much. Personally, I enjoy Steve Rubel and Jeremy Pepper for different reasons -- after all, choice is precisely what makes blogging fun.

Stephen, here's an idea: how about an official "Doyen for a Day" contest, where PR bloggers can write an essay describing to you their worthiness, and you can bestow the honor, complete with unisex tiara and a free soundbite interview?

Posted by: Scott Baradell at October 10, 2005 02:20 PM

Looking for THE expert, or THE 'doyen' is so oldie-worldie MSM to me, like all those rating lists and top blog lists and blah, blah, blah. There are lots of great bloggers, let's encourage and recruit lost more. Let's forget about who's the best. I also don't get the 'influence' bit, in what way are any bloggers influential in PR especially. My 'influence', the 'influence' I'm interested in is the ability to use blogs etc professionally. If I can get my clients to blog, or at least consider it, and if I can pick up a few extra clients because I seem to be ahead of the curve (in Australia, at least) and if blogging (and the associated media and conference activity) helps to raise the profile of me and my firm in this little market then that's VERY influential in my terms. Who gives a rats how many bloggers read or link to my blog, that's fun and gratifying, but is it influential in any real sense.

BTW, by this criteria Steve Rubel is very influenetial, and so are lots of other pioneers, I suspect.

Posted by: Trevor Cook at October 10, 2005 09:38 PM


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