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Dear Publicists: Most press releases fail to produce results because they are:
– ill-conceived and contain no news
– badly written
– too long
– contain stupid quotes
– sound like they were written by lawyers
Yet, two really dumb recent ideas propose new ways for flaks to force press releases from hell on hapless consumers.
Pheedo, the RSS advertising company, and PR Web are now displaying press release headlines and extracts in RSS ads. Press releases can’t be both ads and news, and consumers, who are not stupid, know that.
Then there’s David Meerman Scott’s new e-book says “The Web has changed the rules for press releases. The thing is, most old-line PR professionals just don’t know it yet.”
He suggests that “savvy marketing professionals use press releases to reach buyers directly.” Now there’s a dumb idea if I ever heard one, even if is endorsed by consummate self-marketer Seth Godin.
The rules have changed on the Web allright. Consumers are increasingly savvy about finding information sources they trust, and ignoring hype.
Companies looking to build credibility with consumers should be looking at blogs, podcasts, blog advertising, and sponsorship of social media like MySpace. There is nothing wrong with taking a message directly to consumers Just don’t call it news unless it really is.