Rubel vs. PC Mag — bizarre

by Mathew on April 17, 2007 · 14 comments

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get most of the reaction to Steve Rubel’s little Twitter-related gaffe (Twaffe?), in which he said that he throws his PC Magazine in the trash, and now has had to apologize to the editor-in-chief of PC Mag, etc. First of all, you mean they still publish PC Mag? Who knew. I stopped subscribing years ago, and so did anyone else with any sense.

snipshot_e411dij41o5e.jpgAnd secondly, yes I totally understand that it was probably unwise of Steve to say that about PC Mag, seeing as how Edelman pitches companies to PC Mag, and that we all have to watch what we say now, Twitter is not like instant messaging, etc. etc. Totally get that. But still — what the hell is Jim Louderback doing posting a long commentary on what Rubel did to some anonymous PR gossip rag like Strumpette? He has his own website, although it currently just hosts a bio and some links. Why not put it there?

Better yet, why not post a comment on Steve’s blog, or send him an email? Or talk to Edelman privately? Instead, he posts it on Strumpette, and muses aloud about penalizing Edelman in some way — not to mention that he takes what Rubel said completely out of context. What kind of person does that? It’s like overhearing someone say something offhand on the streetcar and then writing a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. Bizarre.

  • http://www.technologyevangelist.com Ed Kohler

    I can’t figure it out either. Why apologize for making an honest remark about the value of the print pub. to him?

  • Mathew

    Glad I’m not the only one, Ed.

  • http://www.deepjiveinterests.com Tony

    Why not put it on his blog? Probably because no one will notice and he wanted to take a stand on the issue.

    You can debate whether its something he ought to have took a stand on, but putting it up on Strumpette did the trick.

    It got him some cheap publicity, and it got an apology out of Steve Rubel.

    Cheers
    t @ dji

  • Mathew

    Cheap is right, Tony.

  • http://engtech.wordpress.com/ engtech

    The sad thing is that it’s always little comments like this that get blown out of proportion. Whenever I’ve had internet postings come back and bite me it was over something as inconsequential as Steve’s remark.

  • http://www.centernetworks.com Allen Stern

    Just remember that in case after case, both parties win.

  • http://strumpette.com Amanda Chapel

    Mathew,

    First off, Strumpette is the 3rd rail in PR. Louderback was pretty smart in choosing us. Proof in the pudding, it has sent ripples throughout the business and will be discussed for some time to come.

    Now with regard to your cheap remark, excuse me? I may be loose but cheap… no. Well let’s put it this way, you couldn’t afford me. :)

    Regards,

    Amanda Chapel
    Managing Editor
    Strumpette

  • Mathew

    Thanks, Amanda — or whatever your real name is — but I didn’t mean “inexpensive.” As for the third rail thing, I’ll take your word for it.

  • http://www.livedigitally.com Jeremy Toeman

    Mathew – it’s important because senior executives at PR firms should not publicly criticize publications their firm deals with. Period. That’s simply their job. It doesn’t matter if it’s Twitter, a blog, a podcast, a wiki, or any other newfangled technology – it was done publicly. That simple little Twitter update basically put that entire business relationship in jeopardy (and a PR firm/publication relationship is exactly that – a business one).

  • Mathew

    I think you missed my point, Jeremy — or maybe I wasn’t clear. I didn’t say that it didn’t matter, and I agreed that Steve probably shouldn’t have said what he said — what I don’t get is why a guy like Louderback would respond the way he did. It’s just unprofessional and seems to have been done for cheap theatrics more than anything else.

  • http://strumpette.com Amanda Chapel

    Mathew,

    With all due respect, I think it’s you who are missing the point. ALL of this is theater. It just so happens that Louderback’s play was hugely effective. There’s been 33 other articles written on the topic in less than 24 hours. I’d say he chose the exact platform to make that happen.

    Bottom line: the topic is important and the discussion essential. What are you gripin’ about?

    - Amanda

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    I agree that it’s strange. Perhaps it was done in reaction to Rubel’s “open letter” apology (which seemed sincere enough).

  • http://strumpette.com Amanda Chapel

    Mathew,

    With all due respect, I think it’s you who are missing the point. ALL of this is theater. It just so happens that Louderback’s play was hugely effective. There’s been 33 other articles written on the topic in less than 24 hours. I’d say he chose the exact platform to make that happen.

    Bottom line: the topic is important and the discussion essential. What are you griping about?

    - Amanda

  • Mathew

    Amanda: I guess that’s why I hate the theatre.

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