Is this really the end of Amanda Chapel?

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Amanda Chapel, the voice of Strumpette, signed off yesterday — for good. Or so she says. I hope it’s not the end of the blog many of us have come to depend on for comic relief and hard-edged criticism of public relations. But time will tell.

I was privileged to be among the final guest writers on Strumpette. And if you look closely at those who wrote there for the last 3-4 months, you’ll find a good many “normal” mainstream PR types.

I’m sad to see Amanda leave the stage, as Strumpette was evolving into something important — something the business really needs: a courageous and critical voice. Say what you will about the anonymity of “Amanda.” She managed to bring together a good many of us willing to put our names on the record. The voice she created was collective, and very real.

As I told Strumpette’s creators last week, the site has earned a place in modern PR history, as it gave many of us the courage to question the hypocrisy that so often surrounds us in this business. I know it empowered me.

Mark Rose offers a far more intelligent and eloquent piece at PR Blog News. It’s one of those essays that had me saying, “I wish I’d written that.” Kudos, Mark. And thank you, Strumpette.

7 Responses to Is this really the end of Amanda Chapel?

  1. Judy Gombita says:

    I find it interesting how many people (i.e., bloggers) can’t get beyond the fact that the author (or authors) remained anonymous until “the end”; those critics seem to have blinders on when it comes to the end result, which was powerful (and often beautiful) writing and critical thinking. That is, when it was backed up by fact and reasoning. Agreed that this was more evident in recent months, when posts focused on practices, ideas and companies, rather than individuals. I’ve never been a fan of finger-pointing and blogger pile-ons of other bloggers/leaders, as I’ve made clear in a few places.

    I see Toni issued an invitation to Amanda Chapel to join us at PR Conversations. I do know that he is a huge fan of much of the body of work of Strumpette (and definitely the thought processes), so perhaps you’ll be able to get your fix over our way, down the road.

  2. Bill Sledzik says:

    Judy,

    Thanks for dropping in. I never had a problem with Amanda’s anonymity. In fact, I think it was a critical part of the satire. She was sexy and had a certain mystique (OK, that’s a “guy” thing). But she was also a whore who symbolized the worst of a profession that is so often likened to prostitution.

    It was not until the creators of Strumpette became somewhat known entities that we began to see Amanda’s metamorphosis. While she did help embolden many of us, I think we — the more boring, mainstream PR types — also had influence on the taming of Amanda. Her creators began to see the possibilities for expanding the audience and effecting real change in the business. But we also have to remember that Strumpette was a hobby for these folks, and a time-consuming one. I don’t blame them for wanting to get on with their lives, and I only hope that somehow the criticism Strumpette brings to the conversation will carry on.

  3. mediatide says:

    AAAACCKKKK!!!!!

    You wrote one of the two dreaded journalism “crutch” phrases: time will tell.

    The other is: remains to be seen.

    Right out of the Roland Hedley Style Book.

    Buy the first two rounds next time we meet and I’ll forgive you. Go Tribe.

  4. Bill Sledzik says:

    Hey. Blogs are conversational, man. And conversations don’t work without cliches — proven fact. Ditto for broadcast journalism — only in the blog I don’t have to tilt my head and smile when I say them. Roland Hedley used to be my hero. Then I met Amanda Chapel. At least Roland is still out there telling it like it is — and all those under-40 readers are busy Googling Roland’s name!

  5. “Amanda Chapel” is five loser guys hiding cowardly behind an Asian woman’s avatar.

    They preach Oligarchy and Hierarchy, and are sponsors or supporters of idiot Andrew Keen’s silly book The Cult of the Amateur. They oppose Cluetrain Manifesto and social media. They argue for Korporate Amerikkka command and control.

    All the Amanda Chapel Troll Team do is slander, libel, and F bomb. This group troll team is juvenile. I bashed them so badly on Twitter, they have not posted there in months.

  6. Check out the Amanda Chapel Twitter page for your alleged “beautiful” writing. Mostly F bombs and reckless, amateur provocation. Couldn’t even troll me or Scoble or Rubel effectively. A hoax.

  7. Bill Sledzik says:

    Thanks for coming by, Steven. OK, based on your blog bio, I see you have Web 2.0 creds — way, way better than mine. But you have Amanda all wrong. Let me go point by point:

    1) Amanda is not written by 5 guys. While I’ve not met the creators F2F, we have talked on the phone and emailed often. Strumpette is a written by men and women, all folks who are passionate about the business of public relations and very good at writing satire.

    2) Strumpette’s writers don’t preach oligarchy or hierarchy, nor are they sponsors of Andrew Keen. The character Amanda spoke positively about Keen’s book as a counterpoint to Cluetrain. And it contains many very solid counterpoints. Even some of the ardent Web 2.0 cheerleaders have acknowledged this. Strumpette simply echoed those key points — the most salient of which is the need for a vibrant mainstream media to ensure the survival of democracy. Someone has to be the watchdog. The blogosphere isn’t getting it done.

    3) I can see where you might find Strumpette a bit elitist. A lot of the diehard social media folks did, as they were too close to the story to see the satire, which did get a bit cutting at times. I’m a blogger, I love social media and I’m a huge fan of Weinberger and Cluetrain. But we’re living in an echo chamber, and most of the world isn’t paying us any mind. Amanda understood this, and she understood that you can’t blog your way to profitability — at least not yet.

    4) The F-bombs were a little over the top, I’ll grant you, but keep in mind that the character of Amanda Chapel is cast as the bottom feeder of the PR business — she’s a potty-mouthed little whore. If you live and work in the PR business, you’ve known her 10 times over. She is a caricature of too many in our business.

    I won’t speak for the Troll team, but the Twitter spat you allude to sounds like a shouting match between playground bullies. Glad you won that one, man. I’m staying off Twitter for now, at least until it evolves into something more than an annoyance. That day may come for Twitter as it may for social media. It hasn’t yet, and smart business people are hedging their bets. That’s another one of Amanda’s messages.

    And where did you get the idea that Amanda is an Asian avatar. Don’t you know a sexy Mediterranean lady when you see one?

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