Bras and Brass

Two things have caught my eye in social media circles over the last couple of days. The first is a journalist who wrote a blog slating PR agencies and consultants. The second is boobs. Or more specifically, bras.On Tuesday, a freelance journalist called Kevin Braddock chose to publish a post to his blog that laid into PRs for spamming him with irrelevant press releases, stating that it took way too much of his time as a journalist to sift through everything and that much of what he receives is total rubbish. This in itself, though perhaps a little over the top, wasn’t what riled PR people on Twitter, however – to an extent he has a point and, after all, he is entitled to his opinion and is only talking from personal experience. What really got under their skins was that Mr Braddock went on to bold as brass ‘name and shame’ a number of agencies and around 200 individual consultants who had made his life difficult in 2009. (I’d like to proudly point out that not a single Cirkle consultant made his list).

As a result, news of the post spread via Twitter so fast that within hours of the initial post, the blog’s comments section was packed with people responding and criticising his ‘out them all’ approach. As other journalists and bloggers have pointed out, it was really Much Ado About Nothing (although Shakespeare it wasn’t, ironically featuring as it did numerous typos and grammatical errors). What it did prove, however, is the connectedness that Twitter inherently has and how news can spread with lightning speed across an industry once one person chooses to tweet it. Later that day, Mr Braddock chose to remove the offending post. So did he make a boob?

Which leads me nicely on to Facebook. The same day as the PR/journo war was breaking out on Twitter, female Facebookers started to post colours in their status update. ‘Black’, one would post. ‘Red’ from another. ‘Pink & Black’ on another. And so on. The menfolk were a little baffled by this for a day or two. But it became apparent to those of us in the know that the ladies are posting, wait for it, the colour of the bra they are wearing at the time. Of course.

The question begs: why? As it turns out, it’s a viral attempt to support breast cancer awareness, and it’s spreading fast. ‘Not bad’, you might think. But much as I think it’s simple, easy to do and quirky – all the important things about virals – I can’t help but feel that someone somewhere missed a trick. There’s no call to action in this viral – no-one seems to know who started it or what organisation they’re supporting. Would it not have made more sense to update with the bra colour, but include a link to a relevant Facebook page? Or website even? After all, you might as well get an…um…double hit…

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