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Burn Hot, Burn Fast – Skype’s PR Demise?

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I like Skype. I like the woman that initially launched the service via PR, and she did an amazing job.

She understands mainstream media, I got her to work with bloggers and consumer generated media (or whatever you want to call it) after a lot of ignoring her requests … but she’s no longer with them, so I feel I can write this without any contradictory feelings…

Skype is blowing it, particularly in the public relations department. Yahoo! recently beta launched Yahoo! Messenger with Voice … and nothing really came out from Skype or its PR department or firm. While that might not be true in the mainstream press – and, well, I do read that as well – it was the blogs that first broke the Y! VoIP news, particularly Om Malik, and I read no messaging or statements from Skype. Instead, just radio silence. And, it was the blogs that made Skype ….

Now, Skype is being sued using the RICO Act … something usually reserved for Mafia, drug dealers and other undesirables.

Andy Abramson first broke the story – who says PR people can’t break stories, and here’s a man that shows that Intel sees the importance of bloggers by including his photo in the Intel Developer Conference keynote – and Om quickly reported the news.

Granted, this story just broke … but I wonder how silent Skype PR is going to be this time around. Now that they are part of eBay, they are using a firm that – through personal experience – either does not understand, or is afraid, of blogs.

And, well, I recently took part in a Bulldog Reporter audio conference on blogging and working/pitching bloggers … and it was telling with the silence and number of people that a lot of PR firms and people don’t know what to do and are scared.

What do I expect to see – well, when you are sued under RICO, what can you really do? Skype does have a group of blogs, and could launch a crisis communication blog … but that will really be up to eBay. But, if the silence on Yahoo!’s VoIP product is any indication, the silence on this issue will just be as deafening … and for a voice product, that speaks volumes.

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Jeremy Pepper is the CEO and founder of POP! Public Relations, a public relations firm based in Arizona, USA.

He authors the popular Musings from POP! Public Relations blog which offers Jeremy’s opinions and views – on public relations, publicity and other things.

Burn Hot, Burn Fast – Skype’s PR Demise?
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