Can you be too professional?

Has the world of public relations and media become too slick?  Sacred Facts reports Charlie Leabeatter’s view that television news is over-produced and consequently lacks authenticity.  A meja-studies savvy younger audience is rejecting the professional formula and challenging Big Media’s understanding of the new information era.  Is it adapt or die?


A similar challenge goes out to PR practitioners from Robert Scoble noting the view of Mike Arrington about the involvement of PR agencies in blogsophere.  Mega-blogger, Scoble states “I get hundreds of emails every day, many of which are from people, companies, and PR firms asking me to blog stuff. I absolutely hate dealing with this stuff. For the most part I just simply don’t. I don’t respond. I learned that answering email causes even more email and I simply don’t have time… If you have a product or a blog or something else you want my readers to try out (or for me to try out) leave a comment here, do NOT send email!…”


If public relations is to play a role in this new world, clearly it has something to learn.

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

4 thoughts on “Can you be too professional?”

  1. Scoble should tell those who contact him to read his book Naked Conversations which he co-wrote with Shel Israel. The fact is, you are either a blogger or you are not and it is only truly authentic if you do it yourself, including Chief Execs, that’s what happens in the States and other countries. But Scoble is one the best, undoubtedly, I’m not sure if he holds conferences for businesses, though there are lots of others that do.

    Regarding journalists, I don’t think you can be too professional ever, those who are really good will soon see through any PR spin.

  2. Naked Conversations is definitely a must read – and generally I agree that blogs need to reflect an author’s authentic voice. However clogs (corporate blogs) could be drafted by PR professionals – provided they have the skills and understanding of the corporate voice, much as there are some brilliant speechwriters behind many public speakers.

    On journalism, professionalism in terms of solid content and personal integrity are definitely non-negotiable, but sometimes style over substance creates a professional veneer that conveys superficial credibility. This is what seems to be turning off younger audiences whose own YouTube skills often exceed the “professionals”. And, if journalists are spinning (which undoubtedly they and many other folk do), ;let’s not label it as PR – its just naked spin.

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