I finally got an answer from Steven Lowell of Voice 123 about my post:
This was his answer:
” Hi Taji,
First, I am happy to know that someone is reading my blog.
Second, I have always believed in innovating and sharing what I know to do what is best from the general public. That is my definition of ‘Public Relations’…serve the public.
Also, I kind of found that the way you describe ‘public relations’ is more of a way to smoke screen people into believing something that is simply not good career advice, or make them happy for the benefit of financial profit. Yet in these days of smokescreens and false promises, I promised to do something no one else did…Tell the truth for the benefit of all.
You and I have something in common in that we both belonged to Voice123 a talent, yet, in my quest to help, I came upon knowledge unaware by many, and I felt it was my public duty to assist.
Maybe I take on a new approach to public relations, but I think it is working.
I may sound rough sometimes, but at the end of the day, what I say is for the benefit of assisting those who do not have the insight I have come across. I do think the word ‘debacle’ is a bit harsh in this case. People know what I say helps them, even if at first, it may sound like too much to handle.
For example, I did not know you had written this blog until a long-time Voice123 talent told me, and was very upset that you would attack me, and Voice123, especially given our most recent efforts to increase job opportunities.
They know I am a talent that used to belong to the site, and my mission is to help those who do not have the benefit of an inside look, in a new business method that is just 5 years old, yet filled with a centuries of experienced talents. My public relations aims at building bridging gaps in knowledge.
All the best to you, and I will always promise to speak the truth, regardless of who says what about me.
And Here was mine:
” Hello Steven,
Lets first start by saying that you should have gotten wind of this post WAY sooner than 1 week after it is written… You should not have waited for one of the thousands of Voice 123 talent to stumble on my blog post and tell you that someone was upset with the way you are handling your job. I am not saying that because I have such a popular blog or because I have any influence as a blogger at all… What I am telling you is very simple and you can set up within minutes… Google has a service called Google Alerts… Go register in it and add a filter or alert and call it Voice123 or Voice 123 or voice123.com or any number of variations of your company’s name… and let Google Scour the net and inform you of any mention of your company’s name and possible negative PR that is going around. As a person who works in the Advertising industry and often deals closely with our PR department (we work PR for other people as well as ourselves) I know this to be standard practice for a company that has an internet presence. Your company’s business is all about being on the internet so this should benefit you immensely.
Second lets get one thing straight… Your blog post was in and of itself an attack on any Voice Over talent that reads it … hence by Answering your post with one of equal tone and attitude you perceive this as an attack.. See where I’m getting at here? If you think that your tone was in any way appropriate or called for then you have no business working in Public Relations… you should either go back to doing Voice Overs (At which point you might finally get why your comments and attitude are inappropriate) or you should join some government agency like the IRS where they have cart blanch to talk to people as if they own them.
Furthermore in Public Relations as in any other segment of the Marketing industry there are schools of thought. These schools of thought dictate different approaches to Public Relations… What you are doing is more akin to accosting. As the Public Relations Manager you are the mouthpiece of Voice123… and if Voice123 as a corporation speaks with such disregard to its talent’s basic human rights by not addressing them AS human beings then that statement of yours ” People know what I say helps them, even if at first it may sound like too much to handle” is rendered Moot. This is not a television show.. you are not Dr. Becker or Dr. Cox from the Show Scrubs… you cannot be in a position of responsibility like Public Relations and not Care what the public thinks of you… That is paradoxical and will never help you fulfill your Goal of ” My Public Relations aims at building bridging gaps in knowledge.”
What does that even mean… Building bridging gaps in knowledge… that is the job of your FAQ page… and what is this “My Public Relations” business… you think somehow if you decide to forgo the core of why Public Relations was set up in the first place … that you have created some kind of new school of Public Relations? There is only one core value in Public Relations and that is to maintain a good connection with the public by maintaining Good rapport with them… If you don’t then you are not in Public Relations.
Look what I’ll do now is give you suggestions because GOD knows you need them… When you said
” Also, I kind of found that the way you describe ‘public relations’ is more of a way to smoke screen people into believing something that is simply not good career advice, or make them happy for the benefit of financial profit. Yet in these days of smokescreens and false promises, I promised to do something no one else did…Tell the truth for the benefit of all.” Did you think you were on some kind of presidential election campaign? Because ALL that I am asking you to do is:
Wait for it
BE NICE! how hard is it to be nice… say whatever you want… its your company.. your policies and your rules… if you don’ want to change them… DONT! just don’t be rude… don’t talk to people as if they are idiots or as if they work for you … or as if you are in any way more superior to them.
The Voice 123 inactive account policy is retarded… see I too can be very none PC… all you guys need to do is simply have a system where if a person needs to go on vacation then they can change their status to ON VACATION…. if they haven’t logged in to the Voice 123 site for a while… mention it to the client when they visit their profile page and say “This VO talent has not logged into their Voice123 account for the past 73 days … please be advised that by contacting them there is a possibility that they might no longer be available” There are two sides of the equation… or is it that because the producers and casting agencies pay you more than us regular talent then they are more deserving of cordial and polite correspondence.
Now I never asked you to lie… and in my religion lying is a pretty big sin so please don’t keep repeating that statement over and over like someone is chasing you with a hot poker trying to make you spout lies. If you mean you want to be candid… be candid … just be polite about it.
I feel that I should have also introduced Steven to the Public Relations term: Damage Control… but I fear he might want to come up with his own definition for that term as well.