Mediations: Philip Young

  • Mediations comments on public relations theory and practice, with an emphasis on social media and communication ethics. Philip Young is project leader for NEMO: New Media, Modern Democracy at Campus Helsingborg, Lund University, Sweden. All views expressed here are personal and should not be seen as representing Lund University or any other organisation.

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    « A slight discordance | Main | In search of 'lost' releases »


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    Hi, Thanks for mentioning my article.

    You wrote: "We depend on teams of journalists to do the hunting for us."

    Well, that's probably a mistake, if you're trying to reach those journalists via press releases. Because most journalists (especially at desirable venues) ignore the vast majority of press releases wholesale.

    You also wrote: "One of the great joys of a British Sunday is that we can spend hours reading quality newspapers packed with informative articles - about things we never knew we were interested in!"

    And that's why the journalists themselves turn to search engines to find story leads more and more these days. There's more than
    one way to exercise serendipity, after all.

    Things change.

    - Amy Gahran

    Thanks for commenting, Amy. By the 'we' who depend on journalists to do the hunting, I meant readers not PR practitioners.

    I think your post made some very useful points - but like the rest of us I am still thinking these issues through.

    Certainly the pace of change is uneven - what may be true for PR practitioners working for Web 2.0 or hi-tech clients is not necessarily true for others dealing with, say, community affairs in a rural district.

    Also, I am also writing from a UK perspective and research suggests both journalists and PRs are at a different point on the adopion curve than, say, some US sectors.

    Thanks, Philip

    I appreciate your point. Here's the rub, though: Since journalists (especially at the popular mainstream news venues) are increasingly "tuning out" press releases, where do you think they're finding leads for cool news stories?

    Increasingly, at search engines -- both traditional ones like Google and feed aggregation services like Technorati.

    So if you take the "search release" approach to spreading your word, then you're probably more likely to reach journalists as well as directly reach other audiences.

    Food for thought,

    - Amy Gahran

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