Blogging at IABC ....

But, not on this blog - I am part of Warren Bickford's blogging crew at the conference, as noted in this first post.

So, come visit the IABC Blog and read the people that are at the show ... however, I am going to use my blog to write more about a post from tonight.

Shel Holtz has a post about Steve Rubel saying the press release is dead. CooperKatz must love having clients read that, as now they can come back and say that they do not want to pay for press releases anymore, and if they can get refunds.

I have a comment there already, and touched base about it on the IABC blog, but wanted to expand on it per an IM conversation I had with Drew Olanoff, the man behind Blogs4Troops and GMail4Troops.

Press releases are more than just words. They are content that is used to support an idea, support a position. Yes, blogs are great ways to disburse information, but the press release is still king of content in public relations.

And, why? Because public relations is still about people and networking and personal relationships. With a blog, you have a vague idea of who is reading the blog. That's part of the nice thing about Nooked (NB: client) and RSS for press releases, public relations - the tracking and measurement that is the key.

Blogs are good, but it's where everyone is always trying to find a shortcut. Here at the IABC conference, it's interesting to see that this organization and others - while slow - are adapting and changing with the change in technology. They see that communications is changing, and are addressing that with certain tracks at the conference.

Blogs are a temporary shortcut for not having the skills to build networks and relationships in public relations. By the time blogs kind of balance out - and are an ok tool but not the end-all, be-all - the regular PR contacts that people have will disappear because PR people become too obsessed with blogs and not the media relationships.

Good PR people realize that PR is fluid, that we need to embrace change, but change sometimes is just a temporary solution. Blogging for a corporation doesn't always work, where a great press release will always be effective. Blogs are useful for most companies and industries, but just like tonight I advised the person not to blog for the company, I would never advise someone to drop everything - public relations, media relations, press releases - for blogging.

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  1. You nailed it, Jeremy. Blogging shouldn't replace anything. Webinars didn't replace trade shows and the good old face-to-face meetings. I am advising a client in Phoenix this week on the same thing, but --perhaps we are to blame, in part!-- they see the marvelous search engine listings, and links, and chatter about blogs and think they have to drop everything else.

  2. Well, they can have it as a complementary service, but not a replacement.

    How about Nooked RSS feeds for the press room? That can help with SEO as well....

  3. I agree. Change will happen, but the essence of what we do will remain the same. We communicate through words and images. We also try to reach people where they are looking. If they are looking in newspapers and on TV - fine, if they are searching on the internet and using weblogs - ok. Essentially though clear writing, well composed images and video is what gets to people and what counts in our profession as far as I see it. Granted my sight is still somewhat blurry...but still.


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