“Pharma Marketing/P.R. Idol” and the P.R. Wall of Shame; Huffington To Speak in NY Next Week

American IdolMay and June will bring some "must see" programs for anyone interested in Web 2.0 and social media.  More on this below, but one of the more whimsical elements in one program, scheduled for June, gave me an idea: Why not sponsor a "Pharma Marketing Idol" program in which marketing types would compete for the title , and their DTC and other campaigns would be judged by a panel including Rost, Mack, Johnmar, and other experts in this subject with PharmaGossip's Jack Friday calling in from a conference line, voice and face disguised.  A guest patient and physician could join the panel each week. But now, for something that actually will take place next week: the Fourth Annual Personal Democracy Forum to Pace University in New York City with talks and interactive panels involving leaders on both the technology and the content development side. Among those speaking will be Arianna Huffington, Robert Scoble, Seth Godin, and Craigslist's Craig Newmark.  Thomas Friedman will deliver the keynote.   There may still be time to register for this program. Registration costs $295, $195 for non profits (media can attend free).  For more information, visit www.personaldemocracy.com/conferences. The event's organizers have promised to include an "unconference," or a series of sessions and hands on workshops created by participants themselves. They have also noted that there will be some surprise speakers.  Wonder if Peter Rost might have been invited to present.  The prospect of a debate between him and Ms. Huffington would be rather interesting.  But on June 19, at Reuters headquarters (Three Times Square), the Public Relation Society of America's PRSA's Technology Section will present T3PR (Theory, Tactics and Technology for High-Tech Public Relations). Included will be sessions on "Blogs, Vlogs and IPods", Viral Video, PR in a Virtual World, and Boosting PR Results with SEO, SEM and RSS. Useful for journalists or bloggers, to promote their own Web 2.0 efforts, but also to understand what "the other side" is up to. What may just prove to be the highlight of that program will be "P.R. Idol," an offshoot of American Idol in which technology PR people compete for the title, judged by folks from the media, including David Camoy from CNet and Peter Kafka from Forbes. For more on the entire program,  click here. While the Pharma Marketing Idol competition might be far fetched, it is at least more plausible than the Pharma P.R. Idol competition or even the Pharma Technology Provider P.R. Idol.  Very few would make it even to the first round. There are some who do an extremely professional job, but some of the publicists out there appear to have one goal: to promote puff, often through poorly written, or on the technology side, unreadable and irrelevant press releases.  (Our colleague, Control editor Walt Boyes Features a "P.R. Wall of Shame" lampooning some actual examples in the automation and control space.  Here's a recent example from a market research company that tastelessly treats a pharmaceutical theme. You should see what comes from IT and automation system providers). Some P.R. people in pharma see it as their mission is to obscure, delay and wait until the victim just gives up on trying to get any real story, or corporate approval for any part of that story. Fortunately, some people just don't give up.