"Scott Baradell cites an Economistarticle in which Bruce Lowry of Novell foresees blogs 'completely replacing press releases within 10 years.' [...] The argument goes like this: The Net has promoted transparency. Your press releases don’t just go to a targeted segment of the press; they also get posted to Yahoo! and other sites. Since everybody sees all releases, companies need to be more consistent in their messages. So as long as companies are saying the same thing to everybody, why not just move from press releases to blogs? Even if the premise were accurate, the idea is still absurd."
"One of the PR memes that one regularly comes across on the Interweb, as we business folks sometimes call it, is the impending death of the poor, unloved, unappreciated press release. [...] Press releases provide a well understood means of official communication for an individual or organization. If you are looking for the latest news you will seek the press release. Furthermore for statutory reasons press releases are an essential record of a company's performance and history."
"I'm growing more and more convinced that the problem, if it can be termed such, of 'enforced voice,' is far more widespread that we realize. For example, let's take the good old press release. Long the primary communication channel for launches and other important announcements, it has in my view become next to useless..."
"I view the press release as a technical device for notifying media of news from publicly traded companies. That's about it."
"Technical requirements aside, blogs and press releases represent optimal solutions for different constituent profiles."
"They are of less and less value (think steeply declining curve) as communications tools due to the ubiquity of email, Internet, wire services, blogs, RSS... Language and framing matters - until communicators upgrade their efforts in this area then the relevance of the press release is the least of their worries. The real issue is their own relevance. Their relevance to their constituents. And their relevance to the business."
I say blogs are the new press releases. Yup, that's right. That's what I feel. Do I think press releases are dead? No. I think companies will rely on them for years - especially for big news like mergers. But increasingly, you're going to see corporations - perhaps smaller firms at first - gravitate towards blogs and RSS for distributing news rather than spending hundreds of dollars on the wire services. Yahoo's already moving in this direction. Here are three reasons why blogs are the new black ...
RSS Will be Everywhere
The Humans Will Rise to Kill the Machines
Feedback, Feedback, Feedback What's your take? Ya think I am mad? Let's debate this because it sure is an important topic for the PR biz.
"This is a topic we've debated a few times now. With regard to Steve's comments, IMHO:
Press releases are not dead. [...] Blogs aren't the reason to kill 50% of your press releases - the reason to kill them is that about 50% aren't news.
Blogs are the new press releases. I hear this one lots from the non-PR blogeratti. Our arrogance/hysteria in assuming the pervasiveness and application of blogs outside of tech is unfounded.
Are wire services dead? Not for a long time - but if they don't start innovating around RSS then it might happen.
The humans will rise to kill the machines? I agree with the case for authenticity - but this is not an absolute case for blogs over press releases.
Feedback: Why can't people leave comments on press releases? Again, this isn't a case for blogs as much as it is a case for using social networking technology. Frankly, I find the the focus on press releases vs. blogs a nuisance."
"Why is it that proponents of blogging believe that blogs must rape and pillage everything that has gone before? Why is that? Why does the press release continue to get a good kicking? Don't get me wrong, it's good to question the status quo but let's keep a sense of realism here. Blogs are a tool. [...] Press Releases are a tool. [...] All PR practitioners understand that the most effective campaigns use the appropriate tools, in the appropriate manner to reach, educate and inform a specific audience. These audiences vary from staff, to customers, prospects, analysts, journalists, the local community etc. etc. Why in God's name would the blog replace the press release? It won't. The two will live in perfect happiness together. And here's why."
"Iíve never liked press releases Ė even though, in my journalistic work, Iíve often relied on them for story leads and background. But Iíve never actually liked them. Theyíve always felt slimy and fake to me. Iíve always thought there had to be a better way to convey that information, to make those kinds of connections. [...] Hereís why we should let the press release die a merciful, quick death Ė by force if necessary..."
Their format and tone are inherently artificial and hype-oriented.
They reflect a heirarchical model of communication and media which is rapidly being outstripped by the networked model of media. (Picture a bunch of dinosaurs baffled by those pesky little rodents running around underfoot.)
Most journalists hate to read releases and immediately discard the vast majority of them.
Many PR people have told me they hate writing press releases."
"Via comments to my earlier postings and private e-mail, I keep hearing (almost exclusively from PR folks) defenses for the continued existence of press releases. To all supporters of that particular media vehicle, hereís my challenge: What if the press release were outlawed today? What if youíd get burned at the stake if you wrote or transmitted another press release? What other types of documents, channels, etc. would you use to get your communication job done? I dare you to think creatively about this issue."
"Amen, sister. I love this. Yes, it's time we question the security blanket we've held onto for far too long - the press release. Some PR people cling to press releases like Linus holds his blue blanket. Now before you go hootin' and a hollerin' , let me say that press releases are a necessary part of our business - for now. However, my feeling is that some PR people rely on Old Faithful too often instead of pushing the envelope. As journalism and marketing evolve into a conversation, unidirectional channels won't work with the same bite they once had."
"Amy thinks that the 'baby' is press releases. She thinks the 'bath water' is bad practices and an unwillingness to try new tactics. She's ready to toss them all. [...] The baby still has a life to live. What the longevity is, no one knows today. It may not be the brightest or most innovative child, either. But, why not teach the child to grow, adapt and mature in his/her new environment. Growth, change, adaptation, maturity - it all takes time. [...] Do the smart thing. Save the baby. If the blog post is the release, it is still a release."
"Like just about every aspect of agency media relations, they are relegated to the lower levels of the food chain where inexperience and lack of skill doom them before a single finger hits a single keyboard button. But the concept of the news release itself -- or as Amy would prefer, a fact sheet -- is still viable today."
"I do not think all press releases should be spiked. I do think a great deal of them should be spiked. I think those that still go out, should stop trying to be marketing documents, and try harder to be flat informational documents."