New Comms Review; a one way forum?

white-arrow.jpg One way traffic at newcommreview

I’m getting the Aussie ‘irrits’ with newcommreview; they carry a review of ‘Public Relations Disasters’ where Eliz Albrycht says she enjoyed it yet points out where she thinks the book comes up short (mainly lack of disastee explanation and deep crisis comms insights). Thing is, newcommreview has had a site redesign and in the process the critique has stayed up, but my response comments have gone down. I asked Elizabeth to help redress this over a month back – she passed it onto Jen McClure – who says she asked her ‘web guy’ to sort it and reminded him again – but still nothing. C’mon guys; right of reply is fundamental to blogging ain’t it?<br />
For the record: I answered Eliz’s points – mainly by saying PR disaster people were (understandably) reluctant to share with me as they didn’t trust my ‘angle’ (ie to promote better PR practice). I reiterated that the book’s aim was to entertainingly show how PR disasters can alarmingly pop up from almost any area of comms or business, and suggest some commonsense practical avoidance or reparation techniques.
Fair play to Elizabeth – while she honestly admitted she wasn’t in any way a crisis PR practitioner, I was able to assure her that Jonathan Bernstein – a former Ruder Finn crisis frontline guru -declared the book to be worth it for the ‘lessons learnt’ sections alone.

Pic above courtesy of

7 thoughts on “New Comms Review; a one way forum?

  1. Indeed I did review the book well, but I prefer to think of myself more as president of a very successful 14-year-old consultancy than as Ruder Finn’s former top crisis guy 🙂

    Best to all,

    Jonathan Bernstein
    Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc.


  2. Pingback: Better Communication Results » PR Disasters » New Comms Review; a one way forum?

  3. Gerry,

    I posted about this problem today after commenting over at Lee’s blog. I hope the issue is resolved quickly for you. In the meantime, as I suggested in my post, the comments are still open on the review, and in the interest of time, you might want to re-address my criticisms, with an explanation of why you are doing so now. It is not a perfect solution, but I hope it will at least help you out in the short term.



  4. Gerry, I would like to clarify several points about this situation and your post:

    1. NewComm Review is not “Elizabeth’s blog” or “Jen’s blog,” it is the online news site – using WordPress software – for the Society for New Communications Research. Elizabeth contributes content, as do many of our Fellows, and I am the managing editor and take full responsibility for the publication and any concerns you may have.

    Since its inception, we have published 1181 articles from nearly 100 contributors, and have posted 3,027 comments. Therefore, to suggest that the Review is a “one-way forum” is not only inaccurate, but unfair to the volunteers who work on this site.

    2. Far from being ignored or given the run-around as you suggest, I responded to your email the same day, and then immediately forwarded the email to appropriate person and called her to look into it. In our email exchange, I apologized and told you that we would look into this, and we began to do so immediately.

    Our volunteer web services person, (who is a woman, not a “web guy,” as you stated, thank you) has searched our entire database and SQL database, and we can find no such comment. But we are still looking into this issue to ensure that any content that may have disappeared during our recent redesign can be restored. Many comments posted prior to the redesign are still there, so we continue to look into this.

    3. In addition to trying to locate and restore this one comment on this one article, our small, mostly volunteer team has also been busy planning our annual conference, working on four large-scale research projects, publishing the Journal of New Communications Research, serving our members and supporting our Fellows.

    I understand and respect the fact that you would like the opportunity to respond to Elizabeth’s review, and we encourage discussion and debate on NewComm Review.

    Since it is taking us some time to figure out this situation, I would like to suggest that if you feel so strongly about having the ability to comment on Elizabeth’s review f your book, that you simply add a new comment.

    NewComm Review encourages discussion and commentary, and will post all comments that are relevant and that move the conversation forward.

    In the meantime, as stated above, let me assure you and your readers that we are continuing to look into the situation.

    Thank you.

    Jen McClure
    Executive Director, SNCR
    Managing Editor, NewComm Review


  5. Ta for response Jen, but why sideswipe me for raising my concerns over New Comms Review’s loss of my blog comment? I asked for this to be sorted 6 WEEKS ago, and it still isn’t. Jen, you posted to Lee Hopkins blog, accusing me of inaccuracy, you minimised my concerns and then restated the least favourable part of Eliz Albrychts review of my book. Here’s how I respond:
    Here’s the real timeline – I drew attention to the missing response on Feb 12, and now some 6 WEEKS later, you aint fixed it, AND you take a sideswipe at me!!
    12 Feb – I posted a comment under Eliz’s review on your site (no reply; does New Comms Review respond to or ignore blog posts? Is that what you call ‘addressed immediately’?)
    22 Feb – I emailed Elizabeth asking politely for the comments to be reinstated (she said she’d notify you)
    6 Mar – I tried to email what I thought was the webmaster to get progress (; zip!
    13 Mar – received email from you thanking me for patience, saying you’d move to sort it.
    25 Mar – I blogged about my concerns
    You’re kinda like the customer service rep who berates the disgruntled customer by telling them to fill out another form (which I guess I will have to). Also, you taking the opp to selectively restate Eliz’s main criticism of my book was a barbed low blow.
    Until the comments you lost are reinstated, here’re a few other reviews that more than balance the equation…
    ‘Sit back and let McCusker’s tales of woe and little grey commentary boxes teach you how to manage any bad day at PR central’ – The Times (London)
    ‘An excellent book for corporate business executives and students of communications’ – Alan Capper, Adjunct Professor, New York University
    ‘A thoroughly good read for all students of public relations and indeed for every practitioner’ – Professor Tim Traverse Healy, OBE, PR veteran.

    I have also pasted a few reviews under Eliz’s piece on your blog.


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