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Amanda Chapel serves up the naked truth about the PR industry for anyone interested in reading.
Tuesday Feb 13, 2007.     By Jessica Herman
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It's not a coincidence but certainly ironic that Amanda Chapel's blog Strumpette is one of the most popular blogs in the PR world as well as one of the industry's harshest critics (all in good fun, of course)...perhaps because the still-practicing PR maven offers an honest, "naked" treatment of the cheerleading industry for anyone interested in reading about it. Originating as a one-off spoof a year ago, the site was an instant hit, garnering eight or nine thousand unique visitors the first day it showed face in cyberspace. To some its popularity may seem incomprehensible: When The Washington Post ran an article on Strumpette, the piece appeared as the second lead story on the home page, featured directly after an article about Israel bombing Beirut. Whatever the general consensus, readers are still eating it up.

What's the gist of your blog?
We are a send-up of the public relations business. Part satire, partly frivolous, often titillating… we give readers an unusual look at the hypocrisy of our industry. Ironically, we're also a Strumpette in the rough. If you wanted to know what the business of PR was truly about, we also give you solid reference pieces that you won't be able to find anywhere else. We are anti hype in the business of hype.

If I read your blog today, gimme one thing I'd learn.
Not to sound flip, but I don't know what you know to make any kind of judgment of what you'd learn. Funny… as PR is primarily common sense, probably nothing actually. Seriously, I think you'd learn that the business is at an interesting juncture in its history. Revenues are soaring right as this thing called the Internet threatens to disintermediate us.

Here's a little long-winded explanation (sorry): In the past the traditional role for a PR person was to craft a corporate story and deliver it to the public by pitching the media. Today, with the Internet, PR doesn't need the media. One can take "the message" directly to the target audience. The problem with that is that fiction is inextricably related to what a PR person fundamentally does. We craft the corporate story for a legal fiction called "the corporation." In the past the media was the vetting mechanism. Unfortunately, with that derailed, the potential for fraud has never been greater. Coincidentally, PR revenues have never been greater.

BUT… you knew there had to be a "but"… PR's new new thing, the Internet, has grown to reject PR's presence. Today, people are hyper vigilant about being surreptitiously influenced by anyone. It is an interesting time to be in PR to say the least.

How do you pay the bills?
On my back mostly. I am a Strumpette! Just kidding. I am a partner at a fairly prestigious firm here in Chicago.

Your computer is surrounded by.
Not a lot. I am totally anal-retentive. Minimalist is a better word. To the left of my keyboard is a notepad and pen; to the right is my phone. That's it. I am totally allergic to clutter.

When you aren't loving blogging, you're loving BLANK in Chicago.
So who says I love blogging? I do like to write. That's not to be confused with blogging. Actually, there are certain aspects of blogging that from a creative perspective on a good day are distracting; and on a bad day are just downright annoying. I'm not so much for the "conversation." I'm more for creating something as work and putting it out there. What do I love in Chicago? Pizano's pizza. Tell Pete the bartender Amanda sent ya.

Name a local blogger extraordinaire.
Ron May is a local blogger extraordinaire. Some consider him one of the fathers of blogging. We certainly find him as a huge inspiration. A bigger-than-life character is an understatement. You should interview him for sure!

Jessica Herman likes peeking into other folks' lives, which sure helps when she's grilling hip Chicago bloggers. If you'd like to shower a little love on a local blogger whose antics and anecdotes are your favorite flavor of procrastination, shoot her an email.


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