Hello, Colin

The UK CEO of Weber Shandwick and my überboss, Colin Byrne, has added me to his blogroll. His blog is at ByrneBabyByrne.com.

Colin has been doing PR for one year less that I've been alive and, whether you agree with him or not, has a unique set of experiences that make him an interesting blogger to read.

I wondered here about anti-federalism in the early United States. Colin talked here about 'Advocates and Badvocates' and how independent advocates would be a step-change in PR as the power of the internet allows people not tied to companies (as I understand it) to give their personal opinions on issues. This contrasts strongly with, for instance, the Federalist Papers, written under the pseudonym Publius by Hamilton, Madison and Jay while the looser Anti-Federalist Papers were written by George Clinton, Robert Yates and Samuel Bryan under the names Cato, Brutus and Centinel respectively. The intention, as I understand it, was precisely the opposite of what Colin sets out - to present pure argument, so that senior people could say what they want with out being accused of having axes to grind or the Mandy Rice-Davies line - they would say that, wouldn't they?

If I understand the idea of 'Age of Recommendation' that Colin is talking about, the personal recommendation of someone who we respect is increasingly important, whereas the Federalists and Anti-Federalists couched their advertisements - and they were advertisements for a political programme published in the media of the day - in terms of political philosophy and from a position of neutral argumentation.

I do wonder, though, if the apparent explosion in pamphlets, newspapers and other writings around the time, and the development of print capitalism, has any relation to the great increase in political writings through blogging.

xD.

 

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