Why I’m not reading PR emails to get news stories any more

Got an email today from tinarichardspress.co.uk:

Please find media information at the link below,

issued on behalf of Tina Richards (the facialist who said “no” to Julia Roberts).

My response:

And I’m saying NO to any more emails from you, thanks very much. You clearly have no idea what I write about, and that is a cardinal sin in a PR company.

Which I think sums up my position, really. Perhaps it’s just been the time of year – November/December are typically quiet times in the computing industry – but so far I’d say that none of the features I’ve commissioned or stories I’ve written at The Guardian’s G3 Technology supplement has come from a press release.

The whole balance has shifted compared to just a couple of years ago. Nowadays I read my aggregator for what’s interesting, and get emails from journalists with ideas which I’ll either go for or try to shape into something that will work. PR just hasn’t entered the picture so far. Early days yet, of course, but there’s definitely no room for press releases that are so badly misaimed. It denies attention from something else that might be more deserving.

So I’m not going to read things that are obviously press releases because the possibility of it just being annoying or irrelevant is too great; I’m going to go to my aggregator instead, because I’ve chosen every feed there for its potential interest.

43 Comments

  1. Hi Charles,

    Lots of very fair points there, but how do you deal with a scenario when an interesting company comes onto the scene that no-one’s ever heard of? If everyone relied on RSS subscriptions how would they ever get onto the radar?

    Marc

  2. That’s one of those imponderables (word of mouth?). I can only say that when I first was doing journalism I got quite a few stories from PR people, but less and less as time has gone on.

    I think we’d all love it if PR worked better — imagine how easy it would be to come up with ideas if you didn’t have to because you kept getting calls from PR people with brilliant suggestions?

    wg

  3. Plus, you know, Charles isn’t really going to not read press releases any more. He’s going to delegate the job to his freelances. :(

    wg

  4. Charles

    Thursday 5 January 2006 at 3:32 pm

    Me? Me, delegate the “job” of reading? Hell no. It’ll just mean I’ve read the same press releases, seen the same stories, as other people, and so want newer stuff, better journalism.

    Marc, as to the question of how to get an interesting company onto the radar – well, what’s it done? What does it have to offer? And more importantly, who’s talking about it and why? Generally Man + Dog + Idea is of only limited interest. Man + Dog + Idea + interested customers making noise on blogs is much more write-worthy. And then there’s the indefinable element of zeitgeist – which doesn’t quite mean fashion (I don’t think).

  5. erm. “the facialist who said ‘ no’ to Julia Roberts”? What is a facialist? What services might such a person perform for an actress in the ‘talkies’?

  6. A ha. So if I get my mum to start blogging about my clients I could be onto something?

  7. Facetious, moi? Point taken and interesting to hear your perspective.

  8. Charles: Um, just out of idle curiosity(and nothing else, of course) what feeds do you have on your aggregator?

  9. Charles

    Thursday 5 January 2006 at 10:04 pm

    Marc, depends on whether your mum makes it into my aggregator, doesn’t it?

    Andrew… oh, you had to ask, didn’t you?

    Top Seven Tips for Protecting Your Skin
    ****************************************************************************
    by medically qualified facialist and leading non-surgical anti-aging expert,
    Tina Richards.

    http://www.tinarichardspress.co.uk/protect_skin_tipsjan2.htm

    Tina Richard’s exclusive clientele has ranged from A-list Hollywood actors to
    professionals such as doctors. She is respected for appointing equal value to
    all her clients – Richards famously declined a request from **Julia Roberts**
    which would have meant cancelling a day’s appointments with her regular
    clientele, at very little notice.

    Ah, Triforcers.. you want me to list all 400? Some are redundant (filtering within the feeds) and one is just a feed of whatever happened in the past four hours. I could do an OPML file but can’t be arsed..

  10. For us PR’s, can you spell out how you want us to get in touch with you, Charles? Or is your position now that you don’t actually want to hear from PR people with stories any more?

  11. Charles

    Friday 6 January 2006 at 3:22 pm

    Hmm, well let’s clarify a bit, now.
    Yes, I do want to hear from people who have stories; though of course there’s always the tension between what a client and PR considers a “story” (usually: opportunity to take money from punters) and what I and other journos consider a “story” (usually: disaster or drama or something that makes us look at the world in a whole new way, especially where it involves people we know or understand).

    Phone calls: you could call me. Emails: you could email me. But the point on both is, are you sure I’m interested in what you’ve got? My point about my aggregator is that those are things that I know have interested people. Often they’re not even about new stuff; they’re people talking about old jobs and things that happened there (hence this week’s technology lead story, about working behind the scenes on an Apple keynote).

    My point is not to say “Never darken my inbox again” – as I said in an earlier comment, I do read, a lot – but “I’m finding that the balance of where interesting stuff is to be found has changed in the past few years.”

    I expect that doesn’t clarify much. But there’s a wider thing going on. It’s web-driven journalism. The web is a wider resource than the PR industry.

  12. The PR Industry hasn’t caught up with the world wide web yet. PR companies are paid to be excited about something and to additionally convince other people that their excitement is genuine even though we all know it isn’t. However, 50 people getting excited about something for free and sharing their excitement at a similar cost is the way to go. At the end of the day, if you’ve got a technology product to plug, the worst way you can plug it to a technology journalist is by not using technology.

    That PR company doesn’t even have a website so there’s no chance of them having an RSS feed any time soon.

  13. I have to agree with wg as I’d also welcome some brilliant suggestions from PRs! What Charles has to say is absolutely right too.

  14. Hi Charles. Do you think your interests and role as a journalist have changed to the point where you simply don’t ‘need’ to hear from PR people in order for you to a) write stories and b) stay up to date with what’s happening in the various sectors you’re interested in? That’s what your post says to me. From reading a few of the comments it looks like some people are assuming that you’re predicting the end of PR as we know it, when all that’s actually happened is that you’re finding that how you work is better served by news aggregators and speaking with fellow media types. Fear not PR people, there will still be a need for that product launch press release, but just be sure you’re sending it to people that want to receive it. And isn’t that what ‘good’ PR should is all about? Helping a good story find its way into the hands of people that want to hear about it?

  15. Charles

    Friday 6 January 2006 at 7:07 pm

    How I work is better served by talking to the people who use and make the technology – which has always been the case, actually, going right back to the days (in the 1980s – eye-wateringly long ago, I know) when I worked on Computer Weekly and was trying to find out more about BT’s very, very wobbly (then) Customer Service System. I got a lot of stories by cultivating contacts; BT’s PR (not to single them out, this just happens to be an example) only served the purpose of obstructing me, but I had to talk to them to get comments.

    Am I predicting the end of PR as we know it? I’m saying that a lot of it is being circumvented by blogs. Except for the big enterprise stuff, but even that could change. When the engineers can blog stuff that gets read direct by the users and potential buyers, you start getting to that stage where the marketing process is being.. not undermined, but changed.

    There might be a need for that product launch press release. But you might find you’re sending it to a blogger in the future, and that they will know so very much more about the topic than you do that if it contains any sort of error it’ll get ripped to shreds right in front of you. For instance I got an email this morning from a company about a new computer, announcing its “launch” – but not its availability. If I were blogging for cash and readers, the absence of that fact could make a whole day’s story and make the PR company look pretty silly.

    Remember that this thread started from a PR company that had me on a blast list where its content was irrelevant to me. You’ll have to know your bloggers so much better or they will hold you up and shine the light of ridicule up where it ain’t comfortable.

  16. Interesting… the average age of newspaper readers is…. well… getting older. Most PR call centres —- ooops sorry PR Consultants are kids called Natalie and podcasting for them has nothing to do with technology. The Newspaper Licensing Agency wants to make access to information even harder.

    In the meantime 25 new channels for communication outside press, radio, TV and parties (sorry – press conferences) have become available in less than ten years. Big chunks of news now arrive on a mobile device and can also use RSS and yet the media and PR still squabble.

    It is probably time for a truce and some mutual digging to get out of holes.

  17. It is a pity that the person who picked up Charles’s original message (A Feed is born) cannot write. (Is this blogger really a journalist?) The original message was perfectly clear. This one is semi-coherent. (What does that mean? Ed.)

    It is a mistake, though, to assume that PR people exist solely to churn out press releases. These days the world can read the original press release, unless the PR people are too dim to put it on their web site. Steve is spot on when he says “if you’ve got a technology product to plug, the worst way you can plug it to a technology journalist is by not using technology”. So releases are of even less value to hacks than they were, which is saying something.

    I have been around so long that people have been known to pay me to advise them on how to get their science and technology written about. That advice has to keep up with the times. So today the notion that anyone can do PR without an RSS feed is madness. And yet how many major companies have yet to climb aboard.

    But back to press releases. These exist for routine announcements, financial stuff that has to go out to keep regulators happy, or where the originator wants to coordinate the output with meaningless embargoes. (Here I am thinking about the major research journals, Science and Nature, which collude with science writers to make all their lives easier, at the expense of decent journalism.) Real news rarely warrants a press release.

    Any PR worth their salt, or their fees, will establish relationships with journalists, feeding Charles’s laudable desire to get out and about and to actually see stuff being done. Far too many hacks sit in Canary Wharf chasing the “leads” they see coming over their screens. But visiting people is time consuming, and can be hard to justify if your idea of good journalism is the ability to churn out six stories a day.

    Where I disagree with Charles et al. is in the use of blogs as a way of determining what is and isn’t interesting. Then again, I am old fashioned and believe that “citizen journalism” is balderdash. Stuff written by people who have never, unlike Charles and most other journalists, had to deal with a stroppy news editor telling them where to put their useless copy.

  18. Charles

    Saturday 7 January 2006 at 11:37 pm

    Ah, Mike enters the fray, and both sides are felled with a blow.

    I agree – press releases have value more in indicating the direction of news etc than in generating “leads”. You’re right, Mike, that getting out – or at least meeting people (there’s a great cafe opposite the Guardian..) – is the most valuable way of finding things out.

    Far too many hacks sit in Canary Wharf chasing “leads” – yes, but the people whose idea of good journalism is six PA rewrites aren’t the journalists, who become disenchanted and bored, but the accountants. (News editors like to encourage people to go out, but often recant when blank pages stare back at them and the newsroom is empty.)

    But I’ll have to disagree about blogs. As I said, I chose everything in my aggregator: they’re people who are doing things I find interesting. It might not generate a story to read about how someone tracks down a bug, or thinks about other things, but I can use filters to find out stuff; plus my aggregator is my library when I’m offline – I’m storing everything I get for three years, so I can do background searches on topics to see what the blogerati thought earlier and later. (The dwindling of full feeds is a hassle there..)

    Then again, Mike, don’t diss “citizen journalism” too freely. Remember, the whole Sony DRM CDs debacle in the US emanated from one post on a blog by a guy who happened to be expert in tracking down rootkits on Windows. What blogs offer is a direct link to real, independent experts. Sort of like those people that journalists are always trying to find to comment on stuff.

  19. I can understand that you wouldn’t want to read anymore PR’s. I can imagine that you get so many that it piles up, like spam. Although, I think that PR’s are crucial for relatively unknown companies, but they should be targeted to correct audience.

  20. Small companies have a hard time generating PR. For a start they cannot afford the “fat cats” that the big companies deploy to keep their names out of the press.

    The nive ting about small firms is that they often have better stories. Not just their products, but the people behind them and their battles to survive.

    I always encourage them to talk to a small specialist agency that deals with their area of technology. These people usually have connections to journalists who know that the PR people will have dissuaded the company from issuing pointless press releases. The big agencies don’t give a hoot. They just collect their fee.

    This will not, of course, work with journalists who are too grand to answer calls from “flacks”. Not that anyone round here behaves like that, of course.

  21. “PR companies are paid to be excited about something and to additionally convince other people that their excitement is genuine even though we all know it isn’t”
    (Steve Thompson, no12)
    – Whilst I would agree with this 90% of the time, in the tech sector (at least in the B2B world, if that’s not narrowing it down too much) it is a little bit different because (in my experience) PRs have to know something about what they are talking about, so you tend to get people who are actually interested in tech and can understand why it is useful and relevant, and therefore whilst genuine excitement might be too much to ask for, genuine interest and understanding is often there.

    “Most PR call centres —- ooops sorry PR Consultants are kids called Natalie and podcasting for them has nothing to do with technology.”
    (David Phillips, no 16)
    – Being rude by invoking stereotypes doesn’t really contribute anything to this discussion. And provide me a definition of podcasting that doesn’t involve technology and I will be impressed :)

    Mike & Charles’ comments: Whilst I’d agree that many blogs are interesting and valuable to the industry, “citizen journalism” is just that – you get the opinions and views of an enormous cross-section of the population, no matter how misinformed or bizarre, alongside the insightful and interesting. We’ve known for a long time that the media is fragmenting, and I think that blogs are an important part of that fragmentation, but I would never take traditional newspapers etc out of the equation.

  22. Micheal, nice to see that somebody who doesnt like blogs – except this one from Charles – and thinks “citizen journalism” is balderdash, spends so much time commenting on one.
    But it is not clear to me why you think my post is semi-coherent, too bad. If its because of the strange characters in the text, I think this is a technical issue.
    And no, (offcourse) i’m not a journalist;)

  23. Charles

    Thursday 12 January 2006 at 11:52 pm

    Christian: I have to say that even in the B2B sector I didn’t hear that many PRs who really understood their subject in any depth. In consumer tech PR I’d have to say it’s even worse. The stereotypes exist because it’s often true; I hate being called about something, asking someone two questions about something and being told “I can get someone to call you…” No, I thought you called me with a “story”?

    Citizen journalism can have value. Vox pops are a hallowed part of journalism; and if you’re not writing about the People and what they’re doing, you’re ignoring your readers. So you’d better read what they’re interested in. Plus, good stuff can emerge from citizen journalism, particularly in tech. I reiterate my point about the Sony DRM story: that started as a blog post.

    And this blog is only occasionally citizen journalism. More often, it’s journalist citizenship.

  24. Vincent

    (so that you know which message I am responding to in this anarchic “structure”)

    Odd characters have nothing to do with it. Just sentences that make no sense.

    What are we to make of the comment “definitely no room for press releases that are so badly (via conversationblog)”?

    I did not spend “so much time commenting on” blogs. I commented on Charles’s original message about PR, with a passing reference to your utterings.

    By the way, I have some spare apostrophes if your keyboard is bust. I leave you to find where you need them.

    But to the real point, Charles countered my jibe at citizen journalism with a reference to his “aggregator,” god what a horrible neologism, when in reality I suspect that meant blogs. Indeed, he said as much when referring to the Sony saga, a non story if ever there was one.

    Blogs are not “citizen journalism”. Blogs, and RSS, are a way to distribute “citizen journalism”. So is print. Indeed, so is semaphore waved from the top of Nelson’s Column. It is just that this internet thingy makes it so much easier to cast this (mostly) bilge into the wind where many more people will fall over it.

    Is the blog written by the CEO of a Fortune 500 company citizen journalism? Unlikely.

    Is Charles’s blog citizen journalism? No chance. Just moonlighting. And the bugger doesn’t even get paid for it. He can’t even use the excuse of vanity publishing.

    Now you can get back to worrying about the scratches on your iPods, and the entrails or arcane programming languages.

  25. I agree. Particularly for tech news stories and analysis, RSS feeds and blogs are becoming the place to go for a good story. This begs the question, if journalists are increasingly using blogs as a source for good stories, then why shouldn’t their readers? I am and so are many former newspaper readers, if falling circulation figures are anything to go by. Good job you’ve got a blog, Charles ;)

  26. Charles

    Saturday 14 January 2006 at 10:48 am

    Hmm, Mike, but finding out what people are doing is part of journalism, isn’t it? One can argue either way about whether the Sony DRM stuff is a non-story; it mattered to people in the US who cared about, but has no impact in the UK because they don’t use that here. But the reality is – as we both know, Mike – that a story is as big as editors choose to make it.

    Sturgeon’s Law does apply to blog output, which just means that one has to find better strategies to weed it. But that’s part of how the job has changed. One used to weed press releases on paper, and scientific publications, and every other journal that crossed one’s desk, and call people who’d been involved in stories. Now one weeds blogs, and emails of all sorts, and science publications online. But of course it’s still talking to people that garners the best stories.

  27. I suppose I should be careful what I say because The Guardian technology supplement is one (of many) places that I’d love for some of my clients to be featured. However, I am slightly perturbed by your comment in 11 when you say “are you sure I’m interested in what you’ve got”. The answer to that question is no because I haven’t got second sight. I read the section cover to cover every week and find a mix of fascinating stories and the terminally dull which make me wonder why they’ve been published. This blog is in my regular feeds, providing another useful insight. I would only ever call or email if I thought it was of interest. But I would never be sure because the evidence of the diverse stories covered is before me every week (or every day on the blog). It’s a judgement call. I suspect the truth is you don’t want me to be sure, you want me to try and understand your needs and not waste your time.

  28. I wouldn’t describe much of The Guardians “Technology” section as “terminally dull”. (Terminally narrow, yes, ignoring 99 per cent of all known technology.) There is a lot that simply does not interest me. But I am twice the age of the target audience.

    I step in here to say that I am delighted by the move to downplay the coverage of games in the section. At one time it had a page a week. Now it has a small column, which is probably about right.

    Not only are games boring beyond belief, perhaps more important they give a particular impression of the nature of the supplement. Excessive coverage of games says “we write for obsessives who worry about the speed of their graphics card and need to get out a bit more”.

    The FT covers games, indeed, I have written about them for the paper, but as a business activity. This is a big money business area. It also drives the technology forward.

    Having said that, the recent coverage in the supplement of games and the military was first rate. And I thought so when I first read the stuff six months ago in the IEEE’s publications.

  29. Charles

    Sunday 15 January 2006 at 12:36 am

    As to coverage, Stuart and Michael, I’ll certainly say that I’d like to cover a very much wider range than just computer-related stuff. Technology is indeed a huge vista of fascinating things, and the focus on IT and the internet doesn’t really do it all justice.

    To be fair, Stuart, I’d say that what’s always interesting is *issues*. PR stuff tends to be “announcements”. Press releases can point me towards issues, so they’re not redundant.

  30. Charles is, of course, correct in saying that “finding out what people are doing is part of journalism”. And his bit of the technology beat, from appearances 99 per cent IT, may well benefit from watching the bloggers at work. That’s because most of them, certainly the famous ones, are themselves in, and writing about, IT.

    My bit of the technology beat is 99 per cent not IT. Where are the bloggers covering the new developments in photonics that are going to make people money? Who is blogging on the state of corporate R&D?

    For me, finding out what people are doing makes much more use of the “literature”.

    My “aggregator,” a fine piece of software called Onfolio that I would happily write about because it does so much more than the rest of the pack, monitors plenty of RSS feeds. There are not, though, many blogs in there.

    And for other things that interest me, opera, especially baroque opera, (Handel’s Saul is on the CD player, my such old fashioned technology, at the moment) blogs have yet to catch on among the experts, many of whom are the wrong side of 50. They still use newsgroups and mailing lists.

    Funnily enough, these can be better than blogs. Certainly easier to follow. Take this one. How is anyone expected to glean that this is a response to a messages several screen up?

  31. Charles

    Sunday 15 January 2006 at 2:45 pm

    I could (I guess) have threaded comments but I find them confusing when I encounter them, and I dislike having to swim back upstream to follow thoughts. So I haven’t implemented them here.

    Re photonics etc – it’s a fine, and not very clearly defined, line between “science” and “technology”. I’ll re-examine it, perhaps; a lot of promising technology doesn’t get enough of an airing.

    Onfolio looks smart – my aggregator (NetNewsWire) can do many of those things, but by no means all. I’d have to script them up for that; probably end up doing the collection stuff in Voodoopad.

    And hang on – you can’t argue both that bloggers write about any old thing *and* that they only write about narrow topics. The subscriptions I have cover IT, technology, science (Eurekalert, Nature, Nature journalists), media, music, general news, and then a huge number of all sorts of things. It covers my range of interests – not a narrow business area. Serendipity plays a big part in finding good stories too.

  32. If you look back, you will find that my original criticism, repeated in later comments, was of citizen journalism. Not bloggers. To repeat my original observation “I am old fashioned and believe that “citizen journalism” is balderdash”.

    Much “CJ” is people ranting and raving about politics and similar stuff.

    I know that you would not subscribe to the idea that that “Nature journalists” are citizen journalists. Citizens yes. Journalists yes. But not citizen journalists.

    I have never said that “bloggers write about any old thing”. That’s citizen journalists.

  33. Michael:

    “games [are] boring beyond belief… The FT covers games… as a business activity. This is a big money business area. It also drives the technology forward.”

    Eye of the beholder, surely? Nothing’s inherently boring: different people take interest in different things. And I gotta tell you, some of the most boring games are those aiming to be “big money” games.

  34. Cant agree more with Charles’ decision to stop reading press releases. I just wish PR firms would reciprocate and stop sending them — I have had to start quarantining emails from persistent offenders.

    I fail to see what PR firms feel they achieve by mailing unsolicited releases to all and sundry — apart from justifying their retainer, of course. Particularly pointless are those with subject lines that run “Dismal Displays appoints Joe Bloggs as sales manager for north-eastern England”.

    Being charitable, some trade title somewhere may be able to make a 50-word short out of this sort of, er, news. If so, find out who they are and ASK if they want to be sent this stuff on a regular basis. Dont send it out unsolicited to every e-mail address in your database — least of all mine.

    Press releases continue to have an essential put-it-on-record function, as Mike K. spots, but these days even the most Luddite of journalists knows how to get them direct from the relevant website.

    The germ of any good story invariably comes not from unsolicited press releases but from “opt-in” sources — news site, RSS feed, trade paper, personal contact — or the rare PR prepared to pick up the phone and pitch an original story idea.

  35. In my days as a news reporter on the road for one of the big national dailies in the UK, every time I enjoyed success having just knocked on a door where I thought my chances were a million to one brought a great professional rush.

    It proved that no matter how unlikely you think it is that the person behind the door is going to open up and talk, you have to knock to find out.

    The golden rule was to always keep trying.

    In that time, with notepad hidden in pocket, I doubtlessly annoyed several hundreds, if not thousands, of people who were not interested in speaking to the press.

    Of course the trick was not to annoy the people you thought you would have to sweet-talk on another occasion down the line, but the pressure was always there to gamble tomorrow’s possible gains for today’s.

    I admit I also had to wade through several thousand irrelevant press releases a day, and always had a bin by the fax machine so I didn’t have to carry the junk releases all the way back to my desk.

    But the golden rule still applies: for every 99 people to whom I now send a release which is most likely of no interest, there is one who will surprise me.

    I won’t send releases which I think will never interest my target – but if it has a 1% chance, then maybe it’s worth the risk.

    After all, no decent journalist would ever want to cut off that source which has a 1% – or even a 0.1% – chance of feeding them the great story that they spend every day looking for. Would they?

  36. Good points, Chris.
    Actually I realised that one key thing is that I’m in a position where I’m not desperate to fill space; there’s enough going on around the Net and elsewhere to fill the Technology section up. Matters are different on other pages of papers; see http://www.charlesarthur.com/blog/?p=672

  37. Dear Charles

    We immediately wrote you a sincere apology when we realised you had mistakenly been sent our press release. It was a genuine mistake and nothing more.

    Kind Regards

    Tina Richards

  38. For Andrew Brown who wrote:

    “erm. “the facialist who said ‘ no’ to Julia Roberts”? What is a facialist? What services might such a person perform for an actress in the ‘talkies’?”

    Hi Andrew

    Since you asked, a ‘facialist’ is an umbrella term which refers to all aspects of facial care from facials to minor surgical prodedures. I have a medical degree and advise on non-surgical anti-ageing and nutrition specifically.

    Very regrettably or January press release found it’s way to Charles. We had apologised profusely at the time. I am personally very sorry for the irritation and that the error has caused.

    Best Wishes

    Tina Richards

  39. Charles

    Thursday 2 February 2006 at 1:59 pm

    The point I was making was more about the complete irrelevance of the email. Perhaps I could have left the name out; but then again I didn’t.

    The apology was nice, but after the fact. Irrelevant email is a burden and a pain, as I explain elsewhere on this blog. Repeatedly. I’m not saying you should screen emails to me; you should be asking why you’re emailing journalists in general. Is it the best use of their and you time?

  40. Please remove my name “Tina Richards” from your blog.

  41. Fantastic read lads, I find it very interesting all you views on blogs and breaking news.

    I am currently studying for my final exams for the PR Institute of Ireland and blogging, as thought to us, as being an important element to modern PR.

    Piaras Kelly of Drury Communications wrote a good piece on it for the PRII
    http://pkellypr.com/blog/2005/1212/introduction-to-blogs-for-irish-pr-practitioners-pdf/

    PR involves a hell of a lot more than press releases. PR is symmetrical communication with both a company and all it publics and stakeholders. The important word here being symmetrical.

    Blogs fit perfectly into our tool box. long live the blog is what I say and more importantly I am not alone in the PR world when saying it.

  42. Charles – don’t blame you, quite agree. press releases nowadays are not about generating quality coverage – they are about being findable on the web, reassuring the investment community that the company is communicating what its doing to the world, reassuring prospects that the company is alive and doing something, building up a track record of communicating prior to IPO etc etc. i could go on. of course clients still think press releases are about quality and/or safe coverage, no matter how often i tell them that this is not going to be covered. and that ‘safe’ coverage is not worth having (that reprint of the release tends to come with a colour separation charge (which is a nonsense, why can’t they call it a figleaf charge and have done with it?) that is why i am spending the next two days promoting a press release that is highly unlikely to generate any coverage of any quality at all. AAAARGH!

    so sometimes Charles its because our clients didn’t take our advice and persisted in sending out a release to all and sundry despite its lack of interest for the individuals targeted that way. sorry.

  43. It was the anniversary of this post yesterday.
    I considered sending a press release about it but thought better of it.

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