Sarah Lacy and Branding

I couldn’t resist reading this interview with Sarah Lacy on Social Media Today. I was with a group of my students at SXSW during the Mark Zuckerberg interview and ensuing debacle.  I had never even heard of her before then, was only vaguely familiar with her Kevin Rose Business Week cover story. Basically, I found her interviewing style annoying and immature, along with just about everyone else who saw it. But, I was aware from the beginning that she was all about PR and branding.

The author of the Social Media Today article is apparently under her spell. She is pretty and flirtatious.  He calls it “by far the best interview I have conducted.” Hopefully, he’ll get the chance to conduct a few more and this will no longer be true.

There were a few interesting quotes:  From the author Daniel Schawbel “With hard work, determination, a network and a little bit of luck, I see no reason any of you can’t rise to the top like Sarah did.”  This is true, if she can do it, anyone can. I’m just not sure this is the way I want to tell my students to do it.

From Lacy: “I’d never taken a journalism class or a business class in my life!”  That explains everything. I love how it ends with an exclamation point.

I do appreciate that Lacy is tuned in to the fact that these stories are about people and culture, and not just businesses and products.  But, as the first commenter pointed out, she’s more Tiger Beat than Vanity Fair. We are talking about grownups here.  She just needs to stop bragging about her access to these people and the hundreds of hours she has spent with them.  Stop making it about you, because you’re not that interesting. I had high hopes going in to this article that it might shed some light on a misunderstood person, or explain the secrets to her infamy.  But, it just confirmed my impressions from SXSW. There’s little substance here.

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