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Brandon Hopkins

I get PR's in my inbox about 5 times a week...they are always spam. Do these people realize that nobody wants to post this stuff?

Tom Foremski

Kevin, just because news releases are still being sent out by CBS et al means nothing. I didn't say press/news releases are dead just that they should die! Because they are an inefficient form of commnications.

But they ARE efficient at getting clients to pony up money. And they are buying a faulty product and you--as a PR professional--should not be selling them a faulty product, imho. But that is up to you...I'm proposing something which would be more useful.

I'm giving you this feedback as a target of the product--it dosen't work no matter how loudly you proclaim it does!

Robb Hecht

"But blaming the current state of PR on the news release is like blaming Enron on faulty calculators." - well put! Are people sitting in front of a computer 24/7? No. And they probably never will. Ask any media planner. These types of views will be covered in the book I'm writing called "Life After the Press Release".

Kevin Dugan

Tom – Thanks for stopping by. I can only imagine the noise you deal with each day covering technology in Silicon Valley. It brings back memories of my dot com agency days (shudder).

I’m client side now however and will gladly pay for a news release, blog or even a VNR if the tactic is on strategy. PR has a broad palette of tactics to choose from. It sounds like you are getting besieged by one.

News releases are background material…not a pitch. If I were pitching you, and that pitch merited a new release, I would take your approach and break up my info into content blocks and tag them. However I still think news releases have their place and I know from experience that they work.

I find they are great for new product releases or official statements, like the CBS news release, where someone wants to get a specific message on the record. Driving in today, I heard a similar release referenced in an NPR story on the continuing Dubai investigation. Just this week, my company was awarded a tax credit by the State of Ohio. The department of economic development sent a news release to the media. I did nothing other than see the news appear in three local print outlets.

The SEC seems to like them for financial disclosure (vs. news coverage). And I think there are a lot of great reasons to craft a release that do not involve sending them to a journalist. Small company milestones documenting progress are an example. I might create the release and put it in the newsroom as background, but I would not send it to the media. Over time, these small releases show a larger picture of company growth that may become a story.

So we can agree to disagree. We’ve started a nice dialogue around this that will hopefully continue at the New Communications Forum. I wish I could be there to join the discussion in person.

Kevin Dugan

Robb - Great news on the book. Keep us posted as the project progresses!

Robb Hecht

Thanks, Kevin.

My point in the post is, as I said in my "Life After the Press Release?" post, "The death of the press release? I think not. (Every A-blogger is not only blogging, but sending out press releases - online and offline - en masse.) Rubel is the best case study of this. He has used his blog and the press release to generate a great amount of publicity. Voila!

As New York University's Clay Shirky, importanly pointed out in the New York Magazine article, "The Blog Establishment", the way you get into the top ten [list of blogs] now seems to be [through] public relations. "Just posting witty entries and hoping for traffic won't do it," he says, "You have to actively seek out attention from the press. That's how they're [top blogs] jump-starting the links structure. It's not organic." So, A-bloggers shouldn't be shooting the press release, for it's the vehicle that has made them who they are (in spite of letting us think it's purely them blogging and tagging to Technorati).

As for the book, I'll have to interview you, Laermer and Rubel for the book.

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