PRWeb Says Journalists Are Lemmings

    February 2, 2006

PRWeb CEO David McInnis in responding to my prior post about direct-to-consumer press release services is saying that there is nothing sacred or holy about journalism anymore.

However, he doesn’t stop there.

David writes…

“For goodness sake, (journalism) has been the biggest product placement network going for close to three decades now. Turn on any network morning show, if you can stomach it, and you see one product placement after another. They are largely able to get away with it because it is so carefully orchestrated. Apart from being the ultimate in product placement, journalists today seem more like lemmings chasing the same dozen stories on a given day. What happened to variety?”

David, I am sure you’re a great guy, but I am confused. Aren’t journalists your customers? The agencies, which are your other customers, still largely treat journalists like clients. How can we take your service seriously if you diss the credibility of journalism? You’re making me run to PR Newswire and BusinessWire.

Further, you seem to say your service is a direct-to-audience tool for small businesses. That’s super. It fills a void. However, when you say that PRWeb delivers over 30 million page views each month from search and that “people are hungry for this kind of content,” I have to openly question this. Your press releases Google+Search&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nsrc=pr+web&as_nloc=&as_occt=any&as_drrb=q&as_qdr=&as_mind=3&as_minm=1&as_maxd=2&as_maxm=2″ class=”bluelink”>are indexed in Google News. This brings down the credibility of all press releases.

Further, if you’re so enthusiastic about blogs, don’t you think it might be better to add a social component to these releases? Look at how Weblogs Inc opened their ads to consumer feedback.

Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.