Tom Murphy of PR Opinions has taken the machete to Steve Rubel’s latest piece of fantasy, and good on him for doing it. I doubt the sort of silliness that Rubel and some other ‘evangelists’ go on with really helps the pr blogging cause. I mean who can front up to a CEO or a corporate communications manager and say things like ‘the press release is dead’ or ‘forget wire services and use RSS’. You would just be dismissed as a ranter. And with good reason, where are the real-world numbers to back this hype. The growth of blogs and podcasting has been extraordinary, and there is no sign of it stopping. But, and its a big but, we’re talking about a small, small percentage of the population that uses blogs and RSS. Plus, and its a big plus, new tools / mediums don’t have a good record of replacing the old. We still want to get coverage in print even with the ubiquity of TV. It’s horses for courses, basic stuff. The only sensible thing to say to a client or a boss, for the forseeable future (and I’m talking years) is that we should be using press releases and blogs, wire services and RSS (and, no kidding, the telephone) and so on. Use what works where.
Here are some pertinent quotes from Tom:
Steve Rubel's recent post on 'blogs are the new press releases' has annoyed me sufficiently to pen a response.
The sooner we acknowledge that we are in the business of effective communications the better. Putting forward the notion that blogs will destroy all that's gone before might create fantastic 'link juice' among the blogeratti but in my opinion it's not credible.
All PR practitioners understand that the most effective campaigns use the appropriate tools, in the appropriate manner to reach, educate and inform a specific audience. These audiences vary from staff, to customers, prospects, analysts, journalists, the local community etc. etc.
Do we think that blogs will turn an unnewsworthy press release into something that's newsworthy? No. Will blogs turn badly written content into well written content? No.
Will RSS replace wire feeds? Not in the near future. That's the 1990's equivalent of putting press releases on your web site and assuming everyone that matters to your organization will read it. Is that what you really think?
All I ask is that we take a pragmatic look at how blogs intersect with our existing tools, let's get realistic.
C’mon Steve you’re a real world pr practitioner, as well as a big-time blogger, I think its time to reality test some of your evangelism.