About a decade ago, Robin Wauters, the co-founder of TechCrunch wrote a scathing article about a communicator who, in Robin’s mind, had violated every rule that is supposed to exist between PR pros and journalists. He said this communicator had abused Robin’s “extremely sweet and mild-mannered colleague.” Robin was so angry at this communicator that he called him out by name, called him a “PR disaster,” and printed only his emails (not the journalist’s responses).
I remember being outraged at the time because, as Lindsay Bell-Wheeler used to say all the time when she worked here, “There are all three sides to a story: yours, theirs, and the truth.” They only told their side of the story and didn’t let this communicator defend himself.
I’ve always thought it to be pretty disgusting to call out people like that, and even more so when you are using a media platform to do so. Back in the day, when it was a thing to make fun of people by name on social media, I used to say, “Disrespect the idea, not the person.” I know that’s awfully Pollyanna of me, but I really believe it.
And journalists are held to an even higher standard. They should not, under any circumstance, become petty in that way. And yet…it constantly happens. No wonder trust in the media continues to decline.
And that, my friends, is the topic du jour on this week’s episode of the Spin Sucks podcast.