This is not a brothel… discussions on the PR industry

  This is not a brothel… 
  Originally uploaded by Tom Coates

The comments on this photo on plasticbagUK’s flickr stream are highly relevant to the PR industry. Worth a read.

A few excerpts first from Tom

It really pisses me off that press people consider me an outlet to push their marketing messages. It upsets me that people in the world can look at me and only see ways that they can scavenge some limited advantage through which to push their agendas. They see my personal expression, my unadulterated opinion and they think they can use it as a host for their parasitic bullshit.

Worse still, I’m not sure they understand how revolting I find the whole thing. I’m not sure they get that I don’t consider it part of my life’s mission to carry the messaging they want to distribute. I don’t think they understand that it’s an insult to me for them to think that my voice is so apparently for sale. I find it degrading, patronising, cynical. It makes me want to hurl.

replies from Stephen Davies include:

Author of here.

Apologies if my blog post has caused you to receive incessant amounts
of spam disguised as press releases. It really wasn’t my intention.

and the follow up from Tom (among many).

So, while I appreciate your apology, I do think you’re being a bit
disingenuous. Your were interested in working out which blogs would be
best suited to carrying messaging from public relations companies, not
simply in learning about webloggia. I understand that, of course. It’s
your job. But it’s still, fundamentally, about you looking towards
something I’m doing and trying to work out how you and people with
similar professions might exploit it. Surely you can see how that shift
– from being part of a culture of peers to being viewed as a resource
to be tapped – might lower my faith in humanity quite dramatically?
Surely you can see how I’d find a swathe of press releases (and not
spam disguised as press releases, bloody press releases) insulting?

I added the emphasis. It is a very long thread of comments. A blogger relations 101 thread worth the read if you are in the Public Relations Profession.