This week’s PR perspective comes from The World’s Leading. I’d like to write a bit of a biography on TWL, but as they’re anonymous that makes it rather tricky. I’ll just say that it’s a blog focused on tech PR. It’s funny, irreverent and sometimes close to the bone. It’s also recently moved to a swanky new pad, and can now be found at http://www.theworldsleading.net/
How long have you been blogging?
Since May 20th 2006.
Why did you start?
After drinking rather too much beer, I thought it might be fun to prick some of the pomposity that too often, sadly, permeates the PR industry. Sober, it still seemed like a decent idea. I considered all sorts of publishing media. Perhaps a poster on the Cromwell Road? How about little round advertisements at the bottom of pint glasses? My favourite was a large banner towed behind a small single-engined aircraft, but this turned out to be unfeasible on almost every level. So a blog it was.
Do you thinking blogging has helped your business?
Business? What business? The thing about…the world’s leading…is that (as is often pointed out and indeed criticised) it’s anonymous. There isn’t a promotional agenda, there’s no ego massaging going on (or at least, only when I massage it myself). Who knows? We might earn a little bit of pocket money out of it one day, but that’s not the raison d’etre. It certainly hasn’t had any great impact on my professional life.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge about writing a blog?
Time, inevitably, and also interesting content. It’s all about the content, really. As soon as that dries up, we’re buggered. Happily, however, the PR industry seems to be a rich hunting ground for the ridiculous. It’s an orchard full of story trees with particularly low-hanging branches.
What do you want your readers to know about you?
A few want to know who TWL is. A few do know who I am and, frankly, it’s a road to disappointment. Other than that, I don’t think they’re very bothered!
Which other blogs do you read regularly and why?
Oh, crikey. I tend to scan a lot of headlines but seem to do less and less actually reading! A few of the PR ones, obviously. I’m enjoying The Friendly Ghost…Byrne’s is nicely put together (and he doesn’t blather on about social media stuff like most of the others do…). I’d like Paul (notes to editors…) to write more as I’ve met him and he’s a really funny bloke. It’s always nice to dip into a bit of ranting on Charles Arthur’s blog and I read…the world’s leading…too, of course! I don’t write all the stuff (am I giving away a secret there..?) and a lot that doesn’t come from me is bloody funny! I can see why people like it.
If you knew someone was thinking about starting a PR related blog what advice would you want to give them?
Set expectations about how often you’re likely to blog. So many start off like their pants are on fire and then become less and less frequent. Only post when you’ve got something genuinely interesting or entertaining to say. Blog about PR. Don’t start blogging about the latest social media widget…Mayfield’s better at that than you are.
Do you think Web 2.0 is having an impact on how PR is practiced?
Yeah – it’s distracting everyone, clients and agencies alike. Most normal people (i.e. most client ‘audiences’) still read papers and magazines, watch TV, listen to the radio…talk to their friends. So most PR should target these channels. It’s changing, but not as fast as we all think.
What’s the biggest challenge in PR?
Continuing to find it a rewarding career year after year after year. And then finding something else to do when you get the 35, realise you’re far too old to be working in a PR agency and the thought of moving in-house makes you want to leap off a tall building.
What would be your advice to someone who is looking to embark on a career in PR?
Be prepared to work your nuts off. Be honest. Have a plan and stick to it. Think about a life beyond PR. Don’t moan. When it stops being fun for more than a week or two, change jobs or careers. Live beyond your means for a few years. Have a lot of sex…you’ll regret more of the sex you didn’t have than the sex you did.
Is there a question you wish I had asked you?
Yes. I wish you asked me to take receipt of US$40,000,000 into my personal bank account that you need to urgently get out of a West African country on the premise that by helping you out, I’d get to keep 10% of it.
And meant it.