Debate Doesn\’t Die

I’ve been thoroughly amused and intrigued by several aspects of the recent discussion about whether the press release format is a major waste that should be dispatched quickly and mercifully. It’s laid bare several common fallacies.

One such fallacy is the idea that debate dies.

It’s true that within the context of a defined organization (such as a club or company), a deliberative body (such as a legislature or peer review panel), or a particular forum (such as an e-mail discussion group), debate can have a defined beginning and end.

However, in the public conversation – and especially on the internet, within a loosely defined community, or between communities – this concept has no meaning. For good reason…

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The PR Challenge: I Dare You to Do Without

Via comments to my earlier postings and private e-mail, I keep hearing (almost exclusively from PR folks) defenses for the continued existence of press releases. To all supporters of that particular media vehicle, here’s my challenge:

What if the press release were outlawed today? What if you’d get burned at the stake if you wrote or transmitted another press release? What other types of documents, channels, etc. would you use to get your communication job done? I dare you to think creatively about this issue.

Here’s a bit more detail…

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Podcast Bootcamp Preview

Thursday morning, bright and early, I’ll be the first presenter at the Da Vinci Institute’s daylong Podcast Bootcamp event at DeVry Univ. (Westminster, CO). I’m very excited about this event, because the other presenters are highly accomplished podcasters who can definitely expand my skill set.

Here’s a quick overview of what I plan to discuss in my hour in the spotlight…

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Yes: Kill the Press Releases, Please!

As I expected, a lot of people (mainly from the world of PR and from press release distribution services) are vehemently disagreeing with my earlier missive: Let’s Put Press Releases Out of Their Misery.

I’m slammed right at the moment so can’t reply to all of these people in detail. (Sorry.) However, I did summarize my counterarguments to their claims in a comment to this posting from the weblog of Newsmotto, a press release distribution service…

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Let\’s Put Press Releases Out of Their Misery

I’ve never liked press releases – even though, in my journalistic work, I’ve often relied on them for story leads and background. But I’ve never actually liked them. They’ve always felt slimy and fake to me. I’ve always thought there had to be a better way to convey that information, to make those kinds of connections.

True, some people are very attached to this vehicle. They generally sound like this.

I’m so glad that neither journalists nor PR folks need rely on (or resort to) press releases any longer.

Really, we don’t. I mean it. Here’s why we should let the press release die a merciful, quick death – by force if necessary…

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