I just came across my friend Steve Heimoff‘s blog entitled, “The [increasingly] dark side of social media.”
It’s really fun to watch Steve try to wrap his mind around social media, because truthfully… Steve is one of the few people in the world who is a true journalist; that’s to say, he doesn’t understand the world of marketing in a really broad sense. He’s as pure as the driven snow when it comes to writing from the deepest point inside of him that would never, under any circumstance, compromise anything he writes because of favoritism. He and I, as close as we’ve become, keep a serious arm’s length about my clients, and I like it that way. I ask nothing of him, except that I’m going to send press releases to him. (I’m willing to be that when he gets press release, he doesn’t even read who the contact person is.)
When we get together, he’ll sometimes ask me, “Now, who are your clients, again?” I continue to remain vague, so that we have a good distance in that way. He’s genuine, and I adore him for that.
Once again, I read one of his blog posts, and found myself thinking, “I’m glad he’s still trying to work it out.”
This is what Steve wrote:
I’ve always had mixed feelings about advertising. I like the creativity it elicits from smart, talented and artistic people. Some ads themselves can be minor works of art (Apple’s Super Bowl commercial). And advertising is a huge source of revenue for many hard-working people, from actors and graphic designers to makeup artists, copywriters and photographers.
This is what I wrote to him as a comment, and was inspired by the above paragraph:
Advertising makes the world go round, and everyone who directly benefits from it, including writers, are part of the process. The most important aspect of it is “ethics,” or as some used to call it, “Truth in advertising.” So, nothing’s really changed, all generations aside.
Web 2.0 ushered in a new group of writers, who had yet to prove their competency. Once they did, they were gobbled up by publishers who are looking to sell advertising based on their popular content. What goes around, has come back around… ever so slowly.
What writer, when the day is all said and done, would not love to be receiving a salary for his or her work? If we love what we do, doesn’t it stand to reason that we’d love to be paid for it, versus being paid for flipping burgers?
So we write, and we’re compensated, and the advertising world has a platform. God forbid that the advertising world decided to completely dump publishers in deference to only radio and TV advertising. You and I would be back to reinventing ourselves, and I’m not ready for that one quite yet.
Advertising is big business, and many of us are part of it, whether writers, publishers, and yes – my own profession – publicists. We’re all guiding messages… With the intention (most of us) to participate in an ethical way.
I’m queried all the time from companies wanting to advertise on my blog, in really weird ways. I wrote about it a while ago… *The Latest Trend in Marketers ~ Not PR People, But Marketers Going After Bloggers* (http://bit.ly/rfmmv1) There’s an underbelly group out there, not concerned with truth in advertising, because there’s always a yin/yang in life. Once they’re completely outed, they’ll look for another way. For now, that group is willing to pay .01 cent per word. (Sweat shops for writers, imagine!)
Nothing new, Steve, new words to an old song for each new generation to captivate them… And then, the rose colored glasses eventually have to come off. Where did I put mine, years ago, when I got a real job?
What we have to always remember about Steve Heimoff is that he’s pure in his thinking, and is always looking for the truth behind the new, important generation… wanting to believe that they, too, are as highly ethical as he is.
I also watch as a younger generation is also trying to figure him out… It’s very interesting to be observing this.