Hans Kullin (Media Culpa) has a fascinating post on what was, for me, a rather unexpected twist in the changing relationship between PR and news operations. Apparently Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter
has signed an agreement with Newsdesk where the paper is paying Newsdesk to "manage all distribution of press information to Dagens Nyheter's all news desks, editors and reporters". Metro has signed a similar agreement, according to Resumé.
- We will sort the material in a relevant way for DN, says Kristofer Björkman at Newsdesk.
In a sales letter from DN and Newsdesk, press contacts are asked to send all press releases to a central email address at Newsdesk, but Newsdesk clarifies in an interview that it is still an acceptable procedure to send press releases directly to journalists.
Like Hans, I, too, can understand that individual journalists might need help in filtering the flood of emails that are being sent to them (my University of Sunderland colleague Chris Rushton's research is bringing this into sharp focus), but I share his doubts as to whether this is the way forward.
Hans goes on:
"Press releases rarely get picked up by journalists you have absolutely no relation to. What will happen is that PR practitioners will add the central address to their mailing lists and still continue to send press releases to their regular journalist contacts. PR people don't want another layer between themselves and their audience... I prefer to look in the opposite direction by experimenting with a direct dialogue with the target audience as a complement, via blogs and RSS for corporate information.
Turning this on its head, I am intrigued by the notion of a newspaper allowing an outside organisation to determine what is newsworthy. Perhaps something is being lost in translation, but this is certainly a development to watch...