Listening to Eric Schwartzman’s interview with Colin Farrington in the latest episode of Eric’s On The Record Online podcast, posted yesterday, I was struck by one over-riding thought.
Colin Farrington, the director general of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), simply does not understand the role of social media in public relations.
Yet he is willing to offer opinions on a subject about which he clearly and demonstrably knows little.
I heard a great deal of his opinion which relates to message management and control, the good ol’ traditional and closed forms of communication. And there was some comment about danger and risk for young people in blogging without care.
Yet not once did I hear Mr Farrington offer a view about how social media, and particularly blogs, enable people in organizations to engage with other people, forming genuine and, perhaps, lasting relationships of mutual benefit.
I have to admit that my expectation of what Mr Farrington might have to say in this interview was quite low as I remember his behaviour last year, both in dismissive opinion about blogs and commenting on others’ blogs.
Still, a year on, I expected to hear something a little more credible from someone speaking on behalf of the CIPR. And doing so in America to boot.
But I guess for Mr Farrington, blogging is such an uncivilized form of communication.