Media Manipulator Exposed

by Cheryl on August 1, 2012

At the July LMA-LA ‘Meet the Media’ program, Ron Grover from Reuters talked about how social media has changed the game for the news business, with the burden being put on reporters to check and double check sources.  Ron was caught in a situation where he found a source using HARO, only to realize the contact was just posing as an expert.

I did not understand Ron’s story until I recently read a blog post by HARO founder Peter Shankman .  Then I got a notice about a discussion today on YouTube that focused on Ryan Holiday being a ‘media manipulator .’  I think Ryan played a sick game on the media, responding to HARO inquiries, posing as an ‘expert’ on a variety of topics he admits he knew nothing about.  He said, as a result, he was quoted in many high-profile media outlets like Forbes and the NY Times.  According to Ryan, “Media manipulation is prevalent and HARO is a great example of how widespread it is .”  Peter says Ryan’s ‘stunt’ proves that journalists need to do a better job of vetting their sources and HARO is not to blame for it.   Of course, Ryan is promoting a book (that I don’t want to mention here because I refuse to promote it) which goes into his efforts to dupe reporters, but he said he exposed a bigger issue about media relations and how easy it is to take advantage of reporters.    For a lively discussion about media manipulation, watch this which was organized and hosted by John Jantsch with Duct Tape Marketing.

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