Buying the 'Great Conversation'By: John Honovich, Published on Feb 29, 2016
Do not feel bad if you hear the 'Great Conversation' and think of Plato, Plutarch or Shakespeare.
Sadly, a company has hijacked the 'Great Conversation' and turned it into a money making opportunity for promoting security manufacturers.
The Sage Group [link no longer available] is a cross between a PR firm and a Dilbert cartoon. The self-proclaimed 'value transformation company' runs the 'Great Conversation [link no longer available]'.
A few months back, the Sage Group posted a strange item on LinkedIn with a video from Stentofon:
"As part of The Great Conversation, we had a speaker on critical communication platforms (IP Intercom, VOIP Point-to- Point, Emergency Notification, etc.). This video attempts to articulate their value proposition. What do you think? Does it create interest in the value of a critical communications platform?"
A marketing video for any manufacturer, including Stentofon, is a stretch even as a conversation.
The 'Great Conversation' blog, though, is filled [link no longer available] with such promotional posts, from a variety of vendors.
They feature Stentofon and other manufacturers because they pay for sponsorships. Here's their list:
Indeed, for $7,500 you buy a speaking slot at the Great Conversation event. For just $4,500 more, you buy 2 speaking spots:
Manufacturers who refuse to pay are neither great nor part of the conversation.
Buying PR Coverage
We had ignored it at first but recently we received the following PR pitch:
"My name is Regan Robertson of The Sage Group. I am reaching out to see if you will be at ISC West this year. My client, Vingtor-Stentofon..."
Wow. At this point, I am not sure if I should criticize them for the corruption or congratulate them for their thoroughness.
Ethics in Security
Sadly, such pay for the play is the norm in the security industry. It should not be. We are in security, after all.
But can we at least not trivialize the great books in the process?