that companies can buy or access media lists and post
press releases, some of them seem to think that the
efforts of public relation professionals are
superfluous. They take the “do-it-yourself”
approach a little too far, and find themselves with the
kind of publicity and relationships with the media that
they really don’t want.
more journalists prefer e-mail versus other ways of
receiving information (see last issue of our
newsletter), the quality of press releases has sunk to a
new low. Press releases, once considered a
positive way to spread news about a company, have become
just another form of “spam” for most journalists.
An ad for a company with PRESS RELEASE over the top of
it gets no more attention than a gnat flying around the
worse, many press releases now go out without the proper
format – so even if a journalist wants to delve into
the story, there is no contact information (or worse,
the contact person knows nothing about the release!) and
the story hits a brick wall. Just one occurrence
like this and the company can forget about ever getting
a positive mention from that journalist.
example of poor in-house PR is sending press releases to
the wrong journalists or editors. This is a
favorite pet peeve. Blanketing the world with a
press release is just about the fastest way to get
blacklisted. Clicking “select all” and
“send” from a media software package is committing
ever seems to think that just possibly, a journalist
will follow up on something that was sent to him or her.
Time and again one hears about companies that issue a
press release, only to be unprepared for a follow-up
call from the media. Turning a potential story
opportunity into a dead end is just another form of PR
executives are the last people you want deciding if a
press release is newsworthy. No offense, but we
all tend to believe that there is a great story in every
development in our respective companies, when an outside
reader may wonder what is so earth-shaking about it.
The ability to determine what news to place in front of
the media is a skill that can be overlooked and
lack of organization can kill a good story lead.
Journalists operate on deadlines, and professional
public relation people not only understand that, they
sympathize with it. Therefore, when a journalist
has a question or needs additional information, it
should be available immediately. How many times
has a story been killed simply because documentation to
support a press release was not available?
information age and new technology bring wonderful
opportunities, but they can also lead to disaster when
taken too far. When companies realize that they
are far more efficient running their business and
leaving the public relations to the pros, we are all