There's less and less room for formality in today's crowded, untraditional, media market. Like placing embargoes on news releases, says Wade Roush on the Xconomy blog. Instead of setting a release time that's likely to be broken, Wade advises, "Trust me to be alert to good stories, post the news on your blog, e-mail and tweet your announcement, put it on a PR wire service..." or... And here's the really radical notion: "Stop worrying so much about making 'news' and just cultivate relationships with individual reporters like me. Invite me in for a meeting. Demo your product. Take me on a tour of your office or plant. Schedule a phone call just to catch up. Be available as an outside source for stories that aren’t about your company."
Substitute "relationships" for "announcements" and you have the essence of what a well-advised media relations program is supposed to be, right? (In the tech field, TechCrunch killed embargoes in 2008 anway.)
Wade continues: "The truth is that I don’t really care about your quarterly earnings, your sales momentum, or why version 3.0 of your software is so much better than version 2.5. But if you let me get to know you and your company at my own pace, I’ll be able to figure out what’s important for my audience. And that way, if I end up telling a story about your company, it will be much more authentic and interesting. Which should please everyone—including your future customers.
Gee, the possibility of real communication that trusts professionals to make their own judgements and serve their own audiences as they understand them. Another striking current in the changing media environment. Spike that embargo, and get out our contacts book. We'd better have one.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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