I have been trying to figure out why WIRED’s cover story on Julia Allison incensed me so much.
You won’t find me bashing Paris Hilton or her ilk on this blog. As
someone who barely watches TV, her brand of reality-show insta-celebs
barely register on my consciousness. However, I do dwell in the PR
world, the internet world, the social media world…and when you screw
around in that world, I consider you fair game.
I don’t normally do hit pieces.
I am usually positive about how marketing/PR/advertising can make the
world a better place (no small task, believe me). But the Julia Allison
story deserves some response on this blog because it illustrates:
1. How not to do PR
2. How not to use web 2.0 social media tools
3. How not to run a magazine
Here’s a quick recap of the article:
WIRED portrays the piece as a “how-to,” giving advice on the art of
online self-promotion. It details how a woman in her mid-20s weaseled
into the digital pages of Gawker, Valleywag, and (now) WIRED.
On the splash page before the article, WIRED writes, “She can’t act.
She can’t sing. She’s not rich…[S]he’s an internet celebrity.” In case
you missed the underlying message, it’s that WIRED just gave a cover
story to someone devoid of talent. Here is why Julia Allison
is a terrible example of self-promotion, a warning of the missteps of
public relations, and why WIRED ought to be ashamed.