Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Press Release Isn't Dead. No, Twitter Didn't Kill It.

End of summer. It's the time to get the children ready for school, for Jewish people to begin their New Year (L'shana Tova) and get ready to fast for Yom Kippur (yay), for the leaves to start changing colors and for the inevitable "public relations is dead" or "the press release is dead" meme to go around the Web.

Inevitably, the argument reminds me of this:

Thankfully, AdAge and Simon Dumenco do not disappoint this year. Dumenco lays out a bunch of arguments showcasing entertainment and celebrities touting this project or that on Twitter.

So from that, Twitter is killing the press release. Because, to quote Simon, "as the celebrity-industrial complex goes, so goes the rest of corporate America." Forget that publicity firms are the last firms to social media, often being beat (by years) by their consumer technology sister firms. Forget that publicity and the entertainment complex aren't comparable to corporations that have to abide by SEC disclosures and other sticky things like that.

But, maybe, just maybe Twitter's limitation to 140 characters is just not enough to disseminate news, even with links to a blog or page that is, well, I guess it'd be a press release huh?

This doesn't mean that the press release is a great piece of public relations history. The press release has many issues - most being that too much that's put out as a release is not newsworthy, and people can't write - but this isn't going to be fixed by a magical social media release or abandoning press releases to Twitter. And while Google bypassed a press release for it's earnings back in April (ignore the long, and well, wrong section on the social media release), Google must have still disseminated the news to go to its Investor site by some type of wire release (or maybe it just went to Reuters) - correction (11.20 am) via @irwebreport: Google just used EDGAR and didn't do a release. Doesn't change my main point, though.

The press release isn't dead. Twitter isn't killing it. It's not going to disappear over night because, well, there are still people that are investors and stakeholders that need to get information. And they're not all on Twitter.
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