I guess it was the dismissiveness of David Murray's insult that pissed me off. The way he called communications consultant Allan Jenkins "a nobody in the communications business" in the closed milieu of his trade magazine editorial added to my ire.
If he'd just called Allan a rude, insensitive curmudgeon I wouldn't have had an issue with it. But the insult wasn't based on Allan's actions, but rather on his perceived lowly position in the Ragan Communications universe.
My media relations advice to the executives I've coached has always included something about remembering that when you act arrogant and nasty to the media, the impression given to the media's audience is that you are being arrogant and nasty to them.
The vehicle through which their message is transmitted (print or electronic media, online or in person) becomes transparent to the audience. And so it was when Murray took aim at his target. His words got recorded in a bunch of blogs. Murray's irritation with the PR blogger from Copenhagen was barely noticed, but the arrogance of his statement came through as an insult to all the other Nobodies out there -- people who don't necessarily get invited to speak at Ragan conferences, people who spend their lives making a living, sometimes doing exceptional work. People who sometimes get recognition, but too often don't. People like you and me.
I'm sure Murray only wanted to insult one person, not a whole class of people, but I felt insulted nonetheless.
Meh. That was Wednesday morning at 2 a.m. when I was pounding away on a keyboard, searing my anger into my blog post. Today I'm back to my live-and-let-live approach. Being controversial is part of the trade magazine editor's bag of tricks, if they want to keep readers renewing their subscriptions. This controversy will probably be good for business in the Ragan stable of publications and seminars.
In the meantime, me and the other Nobodies who took notice of this issue have been having some fun with the Nobody thing. There's a blog for Nobodies now. And an online store where you can buy logoed items for the International Association of Nobodies. A podcast, paper hats and a number of other creative ideas are in the works.
And in the midst of all that fun there will be a discussion of what it is to be a Nobody, and why that isn't such a bad thing.
I suspect that to Murray (who's been attacked by bloggers in the past), this grouping together will just seem like a pack of rude loudmouths shouting more jargon about the power of social media.
He wants proof that social media can have business applications? What more proof does he need? The very forces that have unearthed his editorial, put it up for display, dissected it, rebutted it, posited alternatives, given examples, pointed to sources of information, and engaged people from several continents in a healthy debate about the issue are available to the average corporation.
There is a world of unengaged or semi-engaged workers out there who don't see the connection between their ambitions and the goals of their employers. A corporation would do well to have exactly this kind of lively debate (without the personal insults) happening within their workforce. So a few corporate sacred cows get bruised in the discussion. So what? The tools we "social media evangelists" are using to connect with other people about the issues we care about are also available for organizations to use for the same purpose.
You want proof, David? Open your eyes, and see the value of the discussion you're now involved in. Get over your annoyance with a few bloggers' rude manners or overzealous advocacy, and take a look at a potential tool for discussion, engagement and information sharing. And none of us Nobodies are going to charge you a nickel for the information and opinon we offer you.
Powered by Qumana