When we record our ‘one-track-pony’, Gini, Joe and Martin are all in Toronto and about to watch Gini talk about her new book, Marketing in the Round at Third Tuesday Toronto. Here’s a link to the event Twitter feed on Storify.

The night before Gini was at Third Tuesday Ottawa and the following day, she and co-author Geoff Livingston are at Social Mix 2012. Busy? Why would you ask?

This week’s topic centres on the post Gini wrote about Ryan Holiday’s new book, Trust Me, I’m Lying.  Holiday claims he’s a media manipulator. To prove it, he and his assistant conducted a test where they posed as sources and responded to reporters who were looking for experts to quote in articles. Holiday made up lies that were included in various publications.  He claimed this demonstrated how few media do their homework and how easy it is to bamboozle them with false information.

The three of us agree this is unethical behavior that casts a shadow on the communications industry and reinforces negative stereotypes about PR that, in the majority of cases, just aren’t true.

Joe says that in journalism and PR mistakes do happen or something falls through the cracks, but that’s the exception and not the rule and that Ryan is a publicity-seeking outlier who’s out to sell books.

The situation reminds Martin of P.T. Barnum, a promoter and publicist (among other things), who would do anything to get attention. But it runs counter to our industry and the ethics many of us practice every day.

Gini contends it’s not unlike the get rich quick schemes that people fall for and wonders if you need to lie to succeed.

Have a listen to our discussion and let us know what you think.

This is our last recording of the summer. But we’re not going on a full hiatus. We’re featuring podcast interviews from PRSA Silver Anvils, Social Capital Conference, PRSA International conference and more.  We’ll be back with our regularly scheduled programming mid-September.

So stay tuned… And thanks for listening!


Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoe Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

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  1. I’m so glad you covered Ryan Holiday and his book. Since he’s getting less critical coverage elsewhere, it’s important that we who believe in the ethical side of PR speak up.

    Neville and I addressed Holiday on FIR #661 on July 23 (http://bit.ly/P13Wci) after I heard him interviewed on the Mixergy podcast (http://mixergy.com/ryan-holiday-interview/) by someone who thought his tactics were great. I also wrote a post suggesting that the ease with which someone like Holiday can manipulate the media gives rise to a greater need for our profession to examine certification (http://bit.ly/M9roSH). But what you may be most interested in is the Google+ Hangout on Air that John Jantsch moderated between Holiday and HARO founder Peter Shankman; David Meerman Scott and I sat in as commentators. You’ll find it here: http://youtu.be/s4a0Vrk4ZEw

    Thanks again for calling this kind of behavior out for what it is.

  2. Thanks Shel. As you said, it’s important for us to stand up for our profession’s ethics and those professionals who adhere to the high standards we set. Looking forward to hearing the panel.

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