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Flacks Come Back

January 27, 2005

We can at times vent bile on this site, however, we have never targeted a group that over the years has riled us the most – technology PR specialists. Since the end of the bubble, few sectors have taken it in the shorts in a more ugly way than tech PR, so out of something like sympathy we have shown restraint. But now the flacks are back… cocky, ignorant, and useless as ever.
SAP Ventures’ Jeff Nolen politely takes the industry to task after he sat on a panel hosted by the PR firm Burson-Marsteller on ‘shaping influence’ and how blogs are reshaping corporate communications. Nolen knows what he is taking about. Here are some excerpts:
– Despite all of the press, very few of these communication
people are actively reading blogs and RSS feeds. Even fewer
are actually writing blogs… 2 hands went up when the
question was asked.
– The tendency is to boil down entire groups of blogs to the
top few that are widely read, which ignores the greater mass
are actively reading blogs and RSS feeds.
– The creed of the professional communications executive over
the years has been to control the message. Get over it because
their is no chance you can do that in today’s world.
– Putting press releases out as blog material isn’t going to
work either. I know this won’t surprise many people, but
NOBODY READS PRESS RELEASES ANYMORE. In fact, in many of the
companies we are invested in we don’t bother putting out
releases on PR Newswire anymore, they just go up on the
website and maybe somebody searches on it, but even if they do
it’s not like a PR is going to be taken seriously.
To which we would add that it is not surprising that the best received tech startups don’t rely on PR firms. Senior management communicate who they are and what they want to do via blogs or direct contact with reporters. See Topix.net or Moveable Type as examples.
Read – Shaping influence through Blogs (Jeff Nolen’s Blog)

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