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08/17/2010

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Jeff Domansky

Kevin, great post. Press releases are dinosaurs for several reasons. The industry has made the channel open to all, usually a good thing, but now filled with amateur, unprofessional releases that drown out legit news. Social media channels offer easy reach, breadth and direct targeting. Again, good when content is valuable. There will always be room for quality releases but is it ever getting difficult to be seen above the junk! Hope you don't mind if I mention one of the worst news releases I've ever seen if you wanted a BAD news release example: "News Release Was Not Ready for Prime Time" http://bit.ly/dg7f86 Thanks again for always thoughtful reading.

Westthirdgroup

If you tweet enough, friend enough, network enough -- if you show enough velocity -- then a shocking number of clients (and too many fellow practitioners) will mistake that velocity for effectiveness.

It's irritating. In fact, it would be full-out infuriating, except for this: The old-school press releases did the same thing long before social media arrived on the scene. At a different scale because the tools were different, true. But shouting aimlessly into the void has a long, rich tradition in our business.

The most profitable model for sizable PR accounts involves churning a lot of hours with relatively cheap, relatively inexperienced labor. You want to know why the industry is so tactics-focused? Because that's where the money is.

Get clients who are interested in strategy before velocity (really interested, not just paying lip service to the cause) and that'll change.

Kevin Dugan

Thanks for the feedback Jeff and WTG.

Jeff: Social media channels do offer a lot of options. But I don't think social media press releases are necessarily taking advantage of things like direct targeting. More often than not I see people flooding the social channels with information. Period. At the end of the day, imho, that's flawed in that social media is best at engagement vs. broadcast. So even a social media news release is still a broadcast tool. If people think making a release social is some kind of silver bullet or magic wand....theyre incorrect.

>>shouting aimlessly into the void has a long, rich tradition in our business.
That's a money quote. And you're absolutly right. Crap on toast is still crap.

As far as tactics being where the money is, compare billable rates of a tactics-intense shop vs a management consultant firm's billable rates. I can argue the exact opposite.

Megan Licursi

But "crap on toast" pays the bills, doesn't it? Of course, I'm kidding. Unfortunately, the industry (still) talking about the press release isn't just infuriating because of how tactical it is, but the argument further pigeon-holes us as media hounds. Where's the talk of strategic communications? Event marketing? Crisis communications? Etc? All valuable function of PR...or so I'm told.

Kevin Dugan

Clearly these topics are being discussed. But they're not getting as much air time. As PR starts to blend with other jobs like social media, it's probably one of the easiest things to teach people. That could be one positive explanation for it. But yeah, lets elevate the conversation as a whole.

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