Mediations: Philip Young

  • Mediations comments on public relations theory and practice, with an emphasis on social media and communication ethics. Philip Young is project leader for NEMO: New Media, Modern Democracy at Campus Helsingborg, Lund University, Sweden. All views expressed here are personal and should not be seen as representing Lund University or any other organisation.

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    So, what ìs it you like, Philip? I seem to remember Arno and Axelle Red were on your list some time ago... :-)

    I took part in that study! Glad my responses went to good use. Am surpirsed by classical being more popular than rock... although I smugly knew who Philip Glass was after music A-level. Makes it all worthwhile!

    Oh yes, and I'm writing this 'listening again' to Radio 1's Gilles Peterson on his Worldwide show. He's playig a great piece of modern jazz. Smug isn't in it!!

    This comment will probably explain why I teach in a university and am not the clubbable chief exec of Hill & Knowlton...

    I am currently listening to Savane (Ali Farka Toure), Transparente (Mariza) and King Crimson (4CD box on Amazon for £10!); I am in love with Camille (Le Fil, Live au Trianon); I regularly listen to Kind of Blue but prefer Eric Dolphy, Thelonious Monk and the UK's finest musician, Stan Tracey. Reggae wasn't mentioned in Lee's study but I rather am partial to King Tubby. My favourite rock album is Marquee Moon; Brian Eno runs through most of my rock likes, which include John Cale, Lou Reed, Velvets, Roxy Music, Iggy Pop. And I have a fairly impressive collection of David Bowie 'rarities'; I first heard Einstein on the Beach when Bowie stood in for Annie Nightingale on her Sunday evening show back in 197?...

    I am not aware of ever having heard Eminem.

    And, yes, Serge, I am probably the only person in the UK connected with PR who enjoys Arno and Axelle Red (who provided the soundtrack for our family holiday in Skye).

    What an exquisite taste, Philip. A good thing you're not that H&K exec :-).

    I saw Mariza perform live at the Blue Note festival in Ghent this summer, btw: although it's not really my cup of tea (I had gone to watch Madredeus in the first place), I have to say I was quite impressed by her performance!

    And I'm always glad to assist people in getting to know some of Belgium's finest. :-)

    I saw Mariza back in November but only got around to the album a couple of weeks ago, which perhaps says something; someone recommended MadreDeus to me when I was in Lisbon (shades of Brussels) and I think they are superb; he also recommended a splendid guitarist, Carlos Paredes.

    There are two kinds of PR practioners in this world, actually three kinds: Right of Centre, Left of Centre and those who have managed to loose their centre of gravity somewhere along the way. I reckon the most successful PR professionals are the third kind.

    Musically however, the taste in music of a PR professional follows the Pyramid Principle. The top end will like Vivaldi, Mozart, Jazz, Rock classics and will hate headbanging hard core rock, Brittney Spears and Shakira and of course the Boys bands... Individual artists like Bruce, Sting, Bono will be their favourites.

    The Mid-level of the Pyramid will be in transition between the bottom level and the evolved ones at the top. The bottom level is personned by the die-hards who have liked a certain kind of music when they were studying and are vehemantly clinging on to the genre and to the generation, refusing to accept new influences under the pretext of "selling out (musically speaking)".

    Once they get promoted to senior AEs or higher, they promptly reach the middle of the pyramid. A VP posting ensures automatic rise to thetop of the end of the pyramid.

    And then there are those PR veterans who always managed to walk straight despite the conspicuous absence of c.g who will like any music you throw at them - from Bach's fifth to Kraftwork to even David Hasselhoff. They wil probably know more than most, will be able to engage in colourful conversations about music and musicians, but guess what? They are the ones who never listen to music. For them the most soulful wail of Coltrane sax becomes just a backdrop tapestry to hold the gems of wisdom coming out of their mouth.
    Next time, watch out for them. You can never miss them. And let me know of your reaction once you have discovered them!

    Philip,interesting post and what great taste you have. And there was me thinking you were one of those 'dull' Malcolm Bradbury types!

    Agree completely on Marquee Moon and all the New York / rock stuff you mention and I don't know what it says about us but Philip Glass's Filmworks is always on the Don't Panic jukebox.

    I'd also put John Cale's Vintage Violence, Eno's Here Come the Warm Jets and all four Velvets albums high on my favourites list.

    Anyway, those of you who've read our blog will have noticed the sometimes desperate attempts to use song names or references for our post titles. As it's still the silly season and given the enthusiasm of people leaving comments on Philip's post, could I possibly suggest people attempt to do the same on their next post?

    21st Century Schizoid Man anyone?

    Do PR people admit to liking folk music?

    Andrew, I put a lot of effort into being dull (or so my friend Howard Kirk says).

    Pete - is this a question on Lee's research or a problem page inquiry about social etiquette? If it's about Lee, I will ask her; if it is about acceptable social behaviour, for me the answer is a clear no.

    I always thought that the ultimate PR challenge was to make folk music socially acceptable. It would call for drastic measure - something along the lines of Bernays' 'torches of freedom'.

    Good idea! Perhaps we could all march while burning copies of Ewan McColl's Greatest Hits. ;-)

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