PR Pro Thinks Blog Posts are the New Press Release — But, What do Journalists Think?

I read an interesting blog post today from Arik Hanson’s blog “Communications Conversations” titled News releases or blog posts: What is the future of media relations? In it, he suggests that companies and individuals hoping to gain attention through the media should give up on the outmoded use of traditional news releases in favor of blogs. Blogs, he says, offer many benefits including:

  • More story — less “news release”
  • Easier to incorporate visuals
  • Forces you to shorten your pitches
  • Easier to share online
  • Measurement is easier

Okay–arguably true statements, and from a PR perspective I get it. But, putting my journalist hat on, I have a hard time believing that I’m going to spend time wading through blog posts to get the information I need.

While there’s certainly great value in blog posts and useful information to be found, frankly, when I’m working on a story, I just don’t have the time. And, if reporters and journalists are the target audience for these missives (and they are), I’d recommend that PR pros find out what they prefer before making assumptions.

I do agree that traditional news releases are largely irrelevant and unnecessary these days–brief, relevant, thorough and compelling email pitches work far better. And, if the pitch generates interest on the part of the journalist a link to a pertinent blog post can’t hurt. But, in my opinion, from the perspective of one who is often on the receiving side of these pitches, blog posts aren’t the new press release, email pitches are.

Blogs may just be icing on the cake if, and only if, the pitch generates interest. And, even then, I’m far more likely to set up an interview with the source to get some “real soundbites” rather than spend limited time reading through their posts.

But, who knows? Maybe that’s just me. Would be curious to hear other perspectives.

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