I was inspired to write this post after reading an article about the Charlatans of Hospitality (a group of people who believe that because they travel a lot and stay in 5* hotels, they can call themselves hotel developpers – HAHA!). It made me laugh because this kind of people has infiltrated many different industries (restaurants, hotels, food, law, photography, travel…)  including and increasingly the communications field and the digital marketing world.

We like to call them the Fake Digital Gurus. Maybe you are part of this group, consciously or unconsciously. Some of you may have met these people, maybe have worked with them and have found out the expensive way that they were not the right suppliers for you.

“No psychologist should pretend to understand what he does not understand… Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.”

– Anton Chekhov

The Principles of the Fake Digital Gurus

  1. Ignore the basis of communications, re-la-tion-ships.
  2. Work and deliver as fast as the internet allows you to.
  3. Do not think. Do not innovate.
  4. Copy what other brands do, just because it seems to be successful for them.
  5. Sell cheap packages.
  6. Only communicate by email. Never pick-up the phone.
  7. Hire suppliers working from the other side of the world, because it is so cheap.

And some of their favourite quotes…

“I have 2,000 followers, I am a social media manager.”

“I can gua-ran-tee that your hotel or restaurant will get X number of followers in 1 day.”

“I can schedule and automate your social media posts for the entire year.”

“Avoid answering to your fans.”

“The more hashtags the better.”

“The more social media accounts the better.”

The truth is that the Fake Digital Gurus end up hurting the entire industry. Because of them, we, passionate communications professionals are left with clients who do not see the point of investing in our services and think they can do it better themselves. And guess what, most of the time, they can not. And that is why digital communications professionals actually exist.


*WARNING – a lot of the Fake Digital Gurus hide behind shiny logos, catchy names and bright pictures, it can be very tempting to do business with them. Try to resist.


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