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January 04, 2007

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Whew... just got my "kids" into their "beds" so they can "sleep" and I can "work" a bit more.

"Mommy" needs to make it back home pronto. :)

Ok, I guess I'll go "pour" myself a "drink" and kick my feet up on the "couch." Ahh, the single life, gotta love it. :)

Paul: Thanks for letting me crash in Brian's place. If his last episode got 8,000 downloads, I suspect mine will get about 18? This includes all of my relatives!

Cheers.

Paul,

Man, you are becoming a star. Way to go!

Disclosure(s): I'm engaged as a public relations counselor for NOKA Chocolate and numerous other companies and am the president of DPK Public Relations.

You've mischaracterized both what I did and what I said about it. I was not engaged by NOKA until after I had posted personal comments on various blogs. I have never said and it is not true that NOKA was aware of the comments until after my firm had been engaged by them and I want to assure listeners that my personal posts played no role in their engagement of our firm. I wish you had discussed our firm's decision to open a forum on our own site www.dpkpr.com to enable critics to discuss the situation. As far as I know, it was a first in the PR field.

Brian and Paul: You're better with air quotes than Britney Spears.

Kevin: Yes, downloads are down significantly so far -- but no one's blaming you. Yet.

Dan: The issue here is not so much that you did anything ethically wrong as that it appeared that way to a number of people. If you're saying that you posted the comments defending Noka, and that they hired you without you ever even mentioning to them that you had written these comments, we will take you at your word.

Personally, I know that if I had coincidentally posted something defending a future client, I'd probably let them know about it sometime during the pitching process. It would certainly seem like an appropriate topic to bring up. That's probably why it's a little confusing for some people.

None of which changes the fact that for a number of bloggers, the whole thing didn't pass their personal smell tests. And as you certainly know from your professional experience, perception is often more important than reality -- particularly in blogland.

As for the forum you opened, we'll be happy to write about it -- IF you hire us as your crisis communication (er, reputation management) consultants.

Of course, we'd properly disclose the relationship.

That's the other thing...so it's wrong now to edit your own Web site? As pointed out by one of your panelists, semantics can be powerful. I reflected on the use of the term "crisis" and determined that this case really didn't rise to that level. On my site, we have a definition stating that a crisis (among other things) interrupts normal business operations. That's not the case here, so I changed it. Suddenly that's an issue? I'm constantly tinkering with articles on my site to make them better. Also, as a former talk show host I must suggest that you come up with some way to get everyone's voice levels in the same range...but it was fun to listen to a local take on these issues.

You did nothing wrong by changing the label, Dan; the reaction was telling, though. "Crisis communications" vs. "reputation management" is just one of many semantic issues that, to laymen, sometimes makes the entire profession of PR seem like it's full of hair-splitting hucksters. That's why the transition from press-release PR to blogosphere PR has been difficult for many practitioners.

Kevin- I think it'll be more like 20. My parents will probably listen, too! :)

Lewis- Star may be pushing it a little, but I am really happy with how the show's going so far. It does feel like there's some good chemistry happening in the group, even though I apparently need to learn to stop yelling into the phone!

Alright, now Dan, I don't remember anyone saying that you were representing Noka all along, in fact Scott was pretty clear that you at least said that you were not working with them in the beginning.

All I said is that I don't believe that Noka didn't know about the comments until after they hired you. It just doesn't pass the smell test. Sorry if I'm wrong, but, I've got to go with my gut on that one.

Either way, it doesn't matter, or change the fact that Noka is selling $8 a pound chocolate for $2000. Frankly, that's the problem, not when or why they signed you up. All that controversy is really just misdirection.

That's it! I'll start selling the $12.00 Masi socks for $1200 and drive up demand by creating a "wow, they must be super socks" craze... Thanks DMZ!

Yeah, I know I'm an ass.

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