The Evolution of NakedPR

by | Jul 11, 2016

After a long hiatus, the original NakedPR blog is back. Find out what you can expect moving forward, from familiar feistiness to a newer, slightly softer, side (sometimes).

Welcome to the “new” NakedPR.

“[A] PR blog & spin-free zone… dedicated to cutting through the crap in online public relations and social media issues with blunt honesty, hard questions, and a healthy dose of skepticism.”

That’s how I described NakedPR in its early days (having launched in late 2006). It’s largely how I’d still describe NakedPR today.

With its 2016 re-launch, NakedPR will still focus on online PR and social media, with an emphasis on transparency, ethics, and industry commentary. I also expect to spend significantly more time exploring blogging and broader publishing and media issues.

In other words, you can think of the “New NakedPR” as the same old NakedPR with a slightly wider focus and at least 20% less swearing (on a good day).

What It’s All About

The aim of NakedPR is to make you think about industry issues in new ways and help you make better decisions as communications professionals. I want to see critical thinking skills become less of a lost art in our line of work. I want to see us, collectively, do better.

Why?

  • Over the years I’ve watched PR pros fail to conduct even rudimentary targeting research on behalf of clients.
  • I’ve watched bloggers and journalists parrot misleading “facts” and statistics to trusting readers minus any thoughtful analysis (and sometimes minus any source citations).
  • I’ve watched major publications and firms try to rank blogs based on “influence” using well-known faulty and manipulable metrics all because such lists serve as effective linkbait.
  • I’ve watched marketers hijack and abuse PR tools to the point of negatively impacting their effectiveness.
  • I’ve watched PR pros, on the other side of the spectrum, show up late to the game and try to hijack broader-use tools and tactics, imposing their views and standards on other groups.
  • I’ve watched far too many communications pros (from PR professionals to writers) act like children, instigating mob mentality to rile people up behind their causes or targets (usually of the “oh boo hoo, someone disagreed with me; go get ’em!” variety).
  • I’ve watched as campaigns present outright lies to the public and get away with it.
  • And, frankly, my bullshit tolerance has been tapped out.

That’s why NakedPR is back. And it’s why I care about PR and media issues so strongly, especially in the digital realm where I’ve built my career in consulting, writing, and publishing.

What You’ll Find Here

NakedPR went through an interesting, and unexpected, transition in its early days. The blog was initially launched to offer practical advice to online business owners — my target clients at the time.

You won’t find much of that here anymore. I’m not here to teach you how to use shiny new tools.

Later, NakedPR focused more on PR and social media professionals themselves. That wasn’t something I planned. The audience changed after I somewhat “loudly” spoke out against one of those instances of mob mentality I mentioned (where a colleague was attacked by a group of ignorant fools empowered by their own echo chamber).

That’s the kind of content you can expect to see more of: commentary on tough, and sometimes unpleasant, industry issues. Examples of topics we’ll explore together in the coming weeks and months include:

  • Bullshit data dissemination;
  • Influencer outreach;
  • Employee advocacy;
  • Brand journalism;
  • Authority chains in blogging;
  • Zombie tools (the ones that just won’t stay dead despite the ever-growing list of claims to the contrary).

Updates will often come in the form of essays and opinion pieces, but I’ll also bring in guests for occasional interviews. This will mostly be done when I find someone whose online PR or social media work makes them stand out in a positive way. That said, the emphasis will still remain on perceived problems in the industry more than feel-good case studies.

When calling out problem behavior, sometimes individuals will be named, and sometimes they won’t be. I’m not completely heartless, so if there’s a way to keep them anonymous while still exploring the underlying issue, I’ll try to do that. If a direct quote or link is required to cover the topic appropriately, then they’ll likely be named.

There is no set publication schedule at NakedPR — something I’m sure we’ll explore in a more general sense when talking about fabricated “blogging rules” in the future. I’ll update if and when I have something to say. And all posts will be my own. I don’t accept guest posts here.

If you’d like to stay on top of posts easily despite the irregular posting schedule, you can subscribe to receive posts via email using the form below any blog post, including this one.

If you have questions not covered here, or there’s something specific you’d like me to weigh in on here on the blog, feel free to leave a comment or email me any time.

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