Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tom Foremski needs to get over himself

One of the advantages of being a Potomac based flack is not having to worry about Tom Foremski.

In his column lamenting the demise of Drama Queen Train Wreck blog, he expresses dismay that PR doesn’t have the decency to follow the news media into financial distress.

It seems that the gentleman who has taken Silicon Valley and disruptive technology as his stated area of expertise has not heard of this thing called Google News Alerts. Google News Alerts comes in two flavors, news, and comprehensive. The first will give you every mention from traditional news sources, including press releases, the second is the same but includes blogs and social tagging sites.

More and more people are getting news based on key words, not sources. Every day they are scanning articles based on key words, without regard to source. It is no longer necessary to place an article to reach these readers, it is merely enough to put it on a news release wire service.

To serve our clients we need to place their stories in credible, independent media. But to suggest that PR is not adapting, well, that is someone who has not been paying attention to what we have been doing.


Tom said...

Alice, how is putting press releases into Google news pushing things forward? Do you think that readers can't tell the difference between a company news release and an independently produced news story? And that you can get around the journalist in this way? A lot of people in PR think so... And how is all of this a step forward for PR? It is just business as usual except there is another distribution channel (free).

Alice said...

As I attempted to explain in the post, many readers, especially those who follow IT stories, have Google News subscriptions. They read almost everything sent to them by Google. The story on PR Newswire is just as visible as Silicon Valley Watcher.

I have been told that press releases are preferred to independent reporting. This astounds me, but many readers consider editors filters that get between them and the story. They consider press releases "direct from the source."

I only have anecdotal evidence. Every event I attend, and I attend 3 or 4 every month, I ask people what their prefer source of news is, increasingly that source is news releases. Many readers tell me they go to corporate news sites to read the news.

You may think our news releases are boring and need to "Die! Die!," but the people who make purchasing decisions think we are providing important news. Maybe they shouldn't, but they do.

You are a reporter, why not contact Google PR and ask how may Google News Alert accounts there are and if there are any regional patterns. The answers may surprise you.