Do you remember Bo Jackson? He was a star athlete who played professional football and baseball. In the early nineteen-nineties, Bo Jackson and Nike teamed up and produced a well-received advertising campaign. The advertisements touted “Bo knows. . .” everything from sports to fine cars.
Do you know David Meerman Scott? I did not until yesterday when marketingprofs.com posted one of his articles. The article is entitled The New Rules of PR, and I find it amazingly flawed.
To summarize the article, Mr. Scott declares that the way most press releases are wrote needs to be updated. He cites the fact that many wire services now deliver releases to search engines such as Google. In some ways he is correct in his proclamations. Press releases should be written in a more modern fashion. PR practitioners should optimize releases for search engines and include links to a company’s landing page. I deem the remaining sections of the article as bunkum.
Scott believes that today’s press release needs to appeal directly to the consumer. In his article, he states, “. . . your primary audience is no longer just a handful of journalists. Your audience is millions of people [consumers] with Internet connections and access to search engines and RSS readers.” Scott goes even further by declaring, “Don’t just send press releases when ‘big news’ is happening; find good reasons to send them all the time.”
Mr. Scott, the purpose of a press release is to obtain third party endorsement. That is where the true power of PR is held, in the recommendations of trusted media and social contacts. Press releases, by their very nature are designed to speak to third parties. What you are proposing is turning a press release into another form of advertising. Advertisements are designed to speak directly to the consumer, not press releases.
Do advertisements work? Sure they do. But, advertising is viewed with skepticism among most consumers. Why would you want to take a press release, which is intended to get around such skepticism, and turn it into the very thing that it seeks to remedy? It does not make any sense.
Mr. David Meerman Scott, you do not know PR.