As a relative newbie to this PR blogging thing, I still get a thrill when someone posts a comment to my site. So imagine my excitement when I awoke Sunday morning to find a comment from one Amanda Chapel, aka, Strumpette.
Known for her slash-and-burn commentary about the PR biz, Amanda chimed in about my post of 1/19/07. She was very nice about it — which isn’t her style at all. You can read my post and her comment here, or just scroll down until you see the smiling baloney sandwich.
Amanda is as smart as she is irreverent. She’s also sexy and very, very naughty. I mean, her bio got this middle-aged professor’s heart racing the first time I read it — before I learned the truth.
You see, this hot-blooded PR nymph doesn’t exist — at least not in the form presented on her site. Sleuthing bloggers have tried to learn exactly who’s behind the character of Amanda Chapel, but no one has outed her yet. So the mystery chick blogs on, burning bridges at every turn.
My friends in the PR blogosphere are certain “Amanda” is really a man, which means she probably doesn’t have those “perky boobs” she promises in her bio. Wish they hadn’t told me.
It’s bad form among PR bloggers to say anything kind about Strumpette. She’s persona non grata with most. Not one of the writers on my blogroll has Strumpette on theirs, but she’s attacked at least half of them in her posts, so you can hardly blame them.
But in the interest of research and the betterment of the academy, this old professor forces himself to read Strumpette.
OK, that’s a lie. I enjoy Strumpette, and I and look forward to her snarky posts. Even though the comments and criticism on her blog cross the line of civility most of the time, they often get me nodding in agreement and just as often laughing out loud. So she can’t be all bad.
“Amanda” and her co-writers see just about anyone in the mainstream practice of PR as fair game for their barbs. They ridicule the mainstay institutions like PRSA, and they regularly skewer the field’s top bloggers — especially those who worship social media. Strumpette writers turn our sacred cows into hamburger, and provoke some serious thought along the way — if you’re paying attention.
Strumpette sees blogging as little more than a fad, and a potentially dangerous one for organizations trying to speak with a single voice. While I disagree that blogs are mere fancy, I do see the potential for social media to become the loose cannon of public relations, since they require relinquishing central control of the message.
Strumpette’s anonymity grates on the blog community because it violates the principle of transparency. Point taken. But if you read Strumpette, you need to accept it for what it is.
Think of Amanda Chapel as the Howard Stern of the PR blogosphere. She talks dirty, she’s outrageous, and she’s usually pretty damn funny in a rude sort of way. I tune in to see what she’ll do next, and clearly so do many others.
Whether you want to accept it or not, there’s a good bit of serious commentary in Strumpette — commentary our profession ignores at its peril. There’s a good bit of P.T Barnum, too, as Amanda lures us to her Big Top.
I plan to enjoy this three-ring circus while it lasts. You?