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A chip on my shoulder ‘the size of a banana’

Rob Preston, ‘a senior PR pro’, was not impressed at this post I made back in August talking about how some public relations professionals simply cannot handle two way communication.

Rob was moved so much by my text that he posted this comment today:

Complete and utter nonsense. You obviously have absolutely no clue as to how PR works… and you’re a journalist. Your employers should be worried… with you!

I bet you’re one of those up-tight, annoying, unable to communicate with other people type journalists with a chip on your shoulder the size of a banana… Let’s face it, you’re hardly at the top of your game. Mobile Indusry…. who?

I’m adding you to my list of ‘journalists not to contacted with a good scoop’.

Cheers (a senior PR pro)…

Oh dear, I don’t think he was impressed at all.

Well Rob, relax. I’m not a journalist and you can rest assured that my employers aren’t worried. As a quick hunt around the site would have indicated, I’m the founder.

I don’t think I’m that up-tight or annoying. I think I’m pretty good at communicating with folk as well.

I think you should have published your full identity Rob, rather than hide behind the ‘a senior PR pro’ description.

And that’s Mobile Industry Review, Rob 🙂


  1. Perhaps you should call the GSM Association's London office on +44 20 7759 2300 and ask for Rob Preston? I bet he won't be so hostile over the phone!

  2. The nice lady at reception said they didn't have anyone there by the name of Rob Preston so that's either not his real name (coward!) or he's just a visitor or even that he works there but isn't important enough for the receptionist to recognise his name.

    Either way Rob, we'd love for you to get in touch to let us know if this is an official GSM Association critique or not.

  3. I wonder if it's Rob Preston from Information Week? or just a troll…

    I wrote at least 3 responses that I deleted before heading out for a calming sandwich 🙂

  4. Ewan: Important AOB to next editorial meeting. What will we do without all the hot scoops that Rob previously gave us. I will hit-up Google for some elevator music and knock out a few test card images for the show until further notice. Ben.

  5. Disqus logs IPs, Rob's IP is a GSM Association address in London. It's safe to assume he either works for the GSM Association or was visiting their offices (or “using” their wifi) when he posted that.

    I called the GSMA's London reception and they hadn't heard of him.

  6. What a knob. If I too was up my own you know what I could describe myself as a 'senior PR pro' – and a former journalist of long experience. If he'd bothered to read a bit further he would have realised that this site takes a very honest and fresh approach to dealing with PRs. I wish all publications worked like this. Perhaps he's running scared because the 'old days' are departing and he can't keep up…….

  7. But if rob is so senior why is his grammar so bad?
    ‘journalists not to contacted with a good scoop’.
    isnt that ‘not to contact ….
    or ‘not to be contacted …

  8. The fact that he posted the comment today – over THREE months after the original post was written, suggests that this fella needs to reconsider the SENIOR PR PRO tag he's assigned himself.

    [shakes head in shame]

  9. “I think you should have published your full identity Rob, rather than hide behind the ‘a senior PR pro’ description. “

    I do think this might raise the issue of right to anonymity (in workplace, if not name. his comment was under his Disqus profile name).

    For example: I might post comments here that 'the management' 😉 might take issue with. I might even go way beyond what's considered acceptable. That's what moderators are for. However, in posting something that rubs the MIR cat up the wrong way, does this mean MIR folk can ring up my workplace or publish its name/location, in what *could* be perceived as some sort of counter-strike?

    Such an action could bring to an organisation's attention to the employee views that they may not want to be linked with themselves, and disciplinary action could follow. e.g. Rob Conway of the GSMA seeing this as a potential PR nightmare (for example, had 'Rob Preston' been outed as a GSMA staffer having publicly bagged Vodafone's roaming policy or stood up for something Viv Reding said, the proverbial could hit the fan and dismissal could result).

    While this is most likely all a storm in a PR cup, I think MIR commenters should be aware of the house rules in commenting, as should MIR staffers.

    Me – I'd think the safest thing would be for nothing like IP addresses to be revealed publicly. I don't believe (could be wrong) this info was visible to anyone except the MIR staff, and thus should have remained confidential.



  10. You raise some very good and relevant points that the MIR team will need to discuss and perhaps come up with some ground rules with regards to commenter's privacy.

    I think it's safe to say that if the extent of your “contribution” is to tell us how crap you are then you're asking for trouble*

    (*trouble to be defined by a future “MIR Terms of Service” document).

  11. You guys seriously need some training in journalism. Bringing the a the name of an organization into it will open you up to libel and defamation action unless you have better proof than an IP address. It's good to be aggresive, but be careful and responsible.

  12. Well, I don't think we've claimed to be journalists (depending on the mood you catch us in we might take that as an insult) but as I said above, it might be worth us reviewing (or at least, creating) our policies on commenter privacy 🙂

  13. I wonder if “Rob” got his inspiration for his name from BBC economics editor, Robert Peston? He has been in the news a lot of late.

    Scary because:

    * As a PR person Rob doesn't understand the etiquette of online

    * As a PR person Rob clearly doesn't know what a blog is or who bloggers are

    * As a PR person Rob hasn't heard of MIR 😉

    Not sure if I buy the 'none IP address disclosure'. If you're going to be a troll (or in this case a sockpuppet) then why shouldn't you call them out?

  14. Unfortunately Rob’s comments are symptomatic of a wider issue impacting the industry – the growing disconnect between mobile operator senior management (and their PR lapdogs), and what’s actually happening at grass roots level.

    Increasingly it is the views of opinion formers on the web that are helping to shape the strategic direction of the industry (so writes a 10 year mobile strategy veteran). Traditional PR “experts” are struggling to comprehend and manage this change, refusing to acknowledge that the landscape is shifting in favour of specialists such as MIR.

    It’s great to see Ewan and team challenging the status quo and not simply regurgitating press releases – keep it up. Mobile Industry Who? That’ll be the leading mobile industry blog site that attracts 30k more readers than copies of the Independent newspaper are sold every day…

  15. it's a good blog… but more influential than the Independent? no way. more widely read than the Independent? no way.

    a lot of crap is written about how blogging is changin the world, changing mainstream media, etc. 80 percent of it is utter boll*cks.

  16. I’m with Mike42 on this one. I don’t believe it’s right to ‘out’ someone who disagrees with a bloggers view. It seems an abuse of power. Apart from anything else you might stop genuinely insightful responses to MIRs ongoing dialog with its readers.

    There is an element in me that gets frustrated that I can’t see who flamers are (especially on Youtube) and sometimes I’d like to give them serious verbal abuse in return, but ultimately i make my own mind up whether they have a good or ridiculous point. Being loyal and rallying around a bloggers opinion is one thing, but aggressively ‘outing’ someone who disagrees by following up on their IP address is a bit like a modern day witch hunt on a ‘nay sayer’.

  17. Rob – ouch. Sounds like you got out of the wrong side of bed today. Or, you just don’t know how to communicate in a way that demonstrates your understand of the topic you’re debating. Perhaps you should spend less energy insulting the author and more time on conscructing a response which is educational to the author and the community and thought provoking.

    It’s all a matter of personal opinion.

    I won’t make any assumptions about your knoweldge/experience. Just saying 😉

  18. Dear Mr PR dude,

    Whatley is actually, pretty apt at communicating, as such during a meeting yesterday i had with someone at Saatchi I mentioned him as someone who connects the dots between PR, customer communication and social media with great aplomb.

    Need a hug?


  19. “someone who connects the dots between PR, customer communication and social media with great aplomb.” — well that could be a description of a good PR person.

  20. Heh. I'm in danger of agreeing with you there…

    ….but don't underestimate the influence that the collected wisdom here has on MSM tech journo's. Sites like MIR, AAS etc are at the cutting edge of mobile geekery, but the stuff anguished over and debated here will filter into the masses. Underpaid and overstretched MSM journos need feeds and leads…and what better place to pick up the mobile zeitgeist than here? Thus it's wise to keep a weather eye on Ewan, Rafe & Co.

    And if that weather eye happens to pick up a post, or an opinon, or a theory, and runs with it into the MSM world, then indeed the bloggos will have changed things.


  21. That Whatley – some say he has an extra set of nipples…and that he can dial Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo with a thought.

    …and I distinctly heard him say 'nay' in Episode 37 (about 10 mniutes in).

    He's a witch! Burn him!

  22. I am a senior PR pro and of all “journalists” (what does that even mean anymore) with whom I work, I like Ewan the best.

    He's just hard to get a hold of, but always friendly and willing to listen when you do.

    Screw you, Preston!

  23. Isn’t it more likely to be this ‘Robert Preston’ ?
    (And just how low is sports PR in the seniority order?)


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