Sunday, 4 November 2007

Positive feedback when major blogger turns against misguided PR approaches

Take a look at Chris Anderson's blog on Long Tail Economics. Very influential site last year, perhaps not so strong this year but still worth following if you are interested in discussions regarding online environment and business models. As editor of Wired, the major US high technology magazine, he obviously gets a great deal of PR activity crossing his desk. He is now totally fed up with misdirected and ill-thought out press releases/invites heading across his desk/email. So he has named and shamed. This has led to nearly 300 comments on the subject on his blog, probably a record. Take a look at the email addresses he has put up, many of the major companies are mentioned: Edelman, Text100 etc.

Subject of blog and number of commentators is good example of positive feedback forces which can work online. Positive in this context does not mean good or bad. Just example of forces which are amplified and which can exhibit non-linear characteristics. Most PR is based on negative feedback where PR initiatives seek to protect reputation, and bring stakeholder opinion into line with agenda of dominant coalition which they represent. Remember Grunig's two way symmetrical model of communications. We will be looking at complexity theory and positive and negative feedback and considering in context of online PR during the programme.

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