Further Impertinence of An Egocentric Lightweight.

Further Impertinence of An Egocentric Lightweight.

Further Impertinence of An Egocentric Lightweight.

“I don’t know who does P.R for @spicerhaart but pushing out self-congratulatory press releases reveling in “one appointment” is pretty desperate stuff. Clearly the new /not new business model is not taking off well for them.  There’s no traction here and the ‘press exposure’ they’re seeking is plain embarrassing.”  – Russell Quirk on LinkedIn.

I found it interesting that this comment by The Ego from Essex was posted on LinkedIn, and not on the original publication, Property Industry Eye. The original post, September 17th 2020, had 1 single comment, signalling that it was hardly a newsworthy item, but our contributor decided that LinkedIn would provide a much less fraught conversation than had he replied on P.I.E.

A controversial post such as this on P.I.E would have amassed plenty of acerbic comment directed at the notorious Mr.Q.   LinkedIn readers are much more accommodating.

Let’s bring in Seth Godin who headlines today’s blog with the headline: “Is that the most important thing?”

“If you want to have an argument, to raise tempers or to distract, the easiest thing to do is to start bringing up things that are easy to argue about.

Not the things that are important.

Because the important things require nuance, patience and understanding. They require an understanding of goals, the way the world works and our mutual respect. 

If someone keeps coming back to irrelevant, urgent , or provocative point instead, they’re signalling that they’d rather not talk about the important thing.

Which is precisely what we need to talk about.”

That’s stock-in-trade, though, of an ineffectual P.R machine.

Propaganda.  def: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person.  Source: Merriam Webster.

I think I would rather clean toilets in a Libyan Whorehouse than spin half-truths & bullshit  in a ‘profession’ where ‘success’ is determined by column inches rather than engagement.

LinkedIn produced a reply from Sharief Ibrahim, Head of Residential for well-respected agency,C.B.R.E.

“We really do our industry a disservice with posts like this.”

“Why?” replied the author of that bitchy little piece of irrelevance.

“Do you see this in Law, Accountancy, or other professional services?  Why do you, or anyone, care so much how another firm run their business? Is your business perfect? Mine certainly is not and I’d suggest we both have more pressing concerns.” was the eminently sensible answer to that question.

That got this highly illogical response.

“Because a) I’ve been in this industry 25 years and am qualified to comment. b) I believe in free dialogue & debate  c) want the industry to improve and that won’t happen via ‘more of the same’, or pretending every business is great  d) I own a P.R firm and am amused by the approach taken above.  You might be content to promote the status quo, the ‘old-boys network’…..but I’m not and if I have an opinion, I make no apology for voicing it.  That’s how things change.  And improve.”

Let’s deconstruct that verbosity.

a) “I’ve been in the industry 25 years and am qualified to comment.”

What on earth has length of service got to do with the qualification to comment.  During those 25 years, if an agent has failed at traditional high-street agency, failed spectacularly at online estate agency and jumped from that frying pan back into the fire, one might suggest there is little qualification. Especially when commenting on an estate agency business that, in relative terms, is doing rather better.  Five years, twenty five years, the qualification to comment is not based on time served, but on the ability to think clearly.

b) “I believe in free dialogue & debate.”

Don’t we all? But let’s be clear about the intent behind the dialogue.  Is it for the purpose of spreading information helping or injuring an institution?  In this case it serves two purposes. It spreads information for the purpose of injuring, not helping. That much is crystal clear from the petty insults.  It also keeps the author’s public profile, centre stage by constant reference to provocative issues. Hate gets far more traction on social media than love.  As for debate, that also requires the ability to think logically.  Here there is no debate. Just uninformed opinion.

c)  “I want the industry to improve and that won’t happen via ‘more of the same’ and pretending every business is great”.

I’m not sure the author recognizes the ‘red-herring’ that he just threw up, or whether it was intentional? “I want the industry to improve” isn’t congruent with all the worst practices of his current ‘shiny object’ agency, Keller Williams UK. Most of the practices are archaic at best and downright distasteful at worst. Wanting the industry to improve doesn’t happen with cheap shots at a competitor. As for “pretending every business is great”, dare I mention the hype and hysteria that surrounded the ill-fated eMoov/Tepilo . A business that might be accused of having “pretended to be great”, given that it convinced crowdfund investors that it was worth £104 million – just months before running out of money. Then, changed its mind and revised down the valuation to £51.8 million. Before going into administration!

d)  “I own a P.R firm and am amused at the approach taken.”

Said differently, I am perfectly entitled to ridicule a competitor that is trying something new.  Every business starts off with one small step and encounters roadblocks along the way, but since I am not confined by logical thought, I exercise the right to criticize something of which I know very little.  Had I been in charge of P.R, the media would be awash with positive stories, each attracting flies around a honeypot.

Finally, “that’s how things change. And improve” .  Referring, I believe, to the fact that our author has “an opinion and makes no apology for voicing it.”

Again, slightly bereft of logical thought.

The evidence doesn’t support the conclusion.

Opinion might well initiate change, but there is zero evidence that opinion results in improvement.

For many, it’s simply an opportunity to listen to themselves talk. The world is full of people who want to be heard.  But how many actually have something interesting to say? Who is creating stuff worthy of our time?

Certainly not the P.R merchants. 

“It can be easy to conflate P.R with Propaganda.  Propaganda, however, traffics in lies, misinformation, inflammatory language and other negative communications, to achieve an objective related to a cause, or goal, or political agenda.”   –   The Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University.  

“There’s no traction here and the press exposure they’re seeking is plain embarrassing.” concluded Mr. Quirk.

What’s embarrassing, impertinent to boot, is someone who thinks ‘press exposure’ is the be-all-and-end-all of brand. Here today and gone tomorrow, as Robin Day would have said.

What matters most is story. That takes time, patience, creativity and effort.

Something sadly lacking in the backwoods of Essex.

It’s not the first time we have heard this train of thought. Sadly, I’m sure, it will not be the last.

Here’s to honest, open debate with those who can think logically.

Thanks for reading:)









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