Intent on breaking through the virtual clutter of the blogosphere, more and more bloggers seem intent on formalizing and distributing their ideas through press releases sent out by such services as ExpertClick’s News release wire. One blogger (who shall not be called out) has actually made a new year’s resolution of posting at least one press release a week. The releases would provide the blogger’s views on news of the day in the hope that virtual, industry and other types of media either pick up the quotes or call her for additional comments.
Yikes. Talk about information overload. Does the world really need a press release a week from bloggers? And, have we learned nothing from the dotcom days? It seems like only yesterday that hoards of 26-year-old Stanford MBA-toting, pre-IPO dotcom CEOs (and their stock options rich CMOs) were flooding the newswires with press release after meaningless press release. Hellbent on either attaining or protecting that coveted ‘first-mover’ status, the dotcom firms worked 24X7 to launch their new web-enabled product or service. Key to their business "strategy" was communicating to the legions of day traders who, when the dotcom went public, would be instrumental in their subsequent success.
And the PR firms (ours included) went right along with this non-strategy. Two, three, four or more press releases were issued each week. And, 99 percent contained no news of value whatsoever. In fact, it wasn’t even about the news with the dotcoms. It was about cueing up the public offering.
I sure don’t miss those days or those demanding dotcom execs. But, looking back, one would think bloggers would be more sensitive to press release mania. As a firm, I know we push back hard now when we question the newsworthiness of a client announcement. The blogosphere needs some sort of ‘pushback’ mechanism as well. Otherwise, strategies such as the press release a week will overwhelm a medium that is already long on content and short on quality.
Thanks to Linda VandeVrede for her thoughts.