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January 28, 2010
'Irrelevant News Releases' Threaten PR, Says British Video

From Great Britain comes a brilliant video (below) warning against PR's contribution to the world's pollution problem -- irrelevant news releases. It's presented by an online news release distribution firm, RealWire.

Three-quarters of online press releases, says RealWire, are received by people for whom they are irrelevant. This is an "inconvenient PR truth."

Fifty-five percent of recipients have taken action to block a sender of news. Every PR practitioner should ask what he or she has done to reduce irrelevance today.

The alternative is grave danger to the utility of PR itself. The really interesting stories are getting lost in the clutter. 

Take the time to know your clients and the media outlets that are likely to be interested in them for given reasons. That's the essence of RealWire's plea. RealWire has created a Web site to get its urgently expressed point across -- AnInconvenientPRTruth.com.

"1.7 billion irrelevant press release e-mails estimated to be received in total each year by U.K. and U.S. journalists alone," proclaims the site and presents a newly issued research report backing that up (in the form of a Slideshare presentation). 

There's also a Bill of Rights "that we believe have been demanded by journalists and bloggers." They include Permission required, Timely unsubscribe, Don't rely on media lists exclusively, and Read (the) publication first.

Are these truisms? Maybe. They're too often honored in the breach. 

RealWire has produced a fervently felt presentation that's in its own business interests -- quality over quantity. It's also in the interest of the entire PR profession as well.

This video should be viewed in every PR office on our endangered planet. We thank Ewan and his Mobile Industry Review blog in London for bringing RealWire's plea to our notice.


An Inconvenient PR Truth from RealWire on Vimeo.

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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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