Monday, August 06, 2007
Imitation is flattery except when it is satire. That was the case for Apple executive, Steve Jobs, when an individual started a "Fake Steve" blog that became a must-read of Silicon Valley. It turns out that "Fake Steve" wasn't in Silicon Valley and was an editor of Forbes magazine in Boston. His 14-month satire worked well, and no one was hurt. But, that doesn't mean that others can't be harmed by writers lifting their persona. It is another reputation threat that PR practitioners need to monitor, although rare. Usually in cases like this, one effort leads to others and the victim will be a high-profile individual, as Steve Jobs is. I wouldn't be surprised to see a "Fake George Bush" blog, a "Fake Dick Cheney" blog, etc. Badly done efforts won't gain much credence and will disappear. Well-done satire can, however, generate a following and wound.