In a thought-provoking essay defending the “traditional” news release, PR blogger Jeremy Pepper gets to the heart of it somewhere around mid-post.
The press release isn’t broken. PR people nowadays just can’t write for shit. Hell, some of the PR bloggers can’t write for shit, but at least by blogging, they should be getting better at writing (maybe not grammar and punctuation, but at least concise writing).
Jeremy’s post is part of the ongoing discussion about the social media news release and its place in PR practice. With all the buzz about social media and their impact on the business, it’s easy to lose sight of the core skill we all need to use any medium effectively: We must write well.
Update: Catching up on my reading tonight (1/25), I found one more interesting take on the news release vs. SMR from Shel Israel.
SMRs have the potential to serve audiences beyond mainstream media, and I’m really intrigued by them. But Jeremy’s point is right on. There are times when it’s just too much, times when a simple news release will do.
I’m pleased to teach in a program with a strong social-media focus, but one in which writing is still the core skill in every course we offer. I hope we don’t lose that focus amid all the digital gizmos coming at us.