Seat of My Pants

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High tech/biotech PR guy...wait, where are you going??

8.31.2006

The Gettysburg Address is 272 words long...

The front page story in the Marketplace section of today's Wall Street Journal (I am still allowed to read that, even though I have a blog, right??) looks at dilemma bloggers face during the vacation season. Ah...to post or not to post?

Although I'm new to this blogging game, I've felt guilty for failing to post in the last few weeks, owing to prep for, taking of and catching up from vacation. (Hell, forget posting, I'm intimidated by my unread feeds in Bloglines right now...) Worse, I've been struggling to figure out how to re-engage. Is it more important to get my post up, get through my blogline feeds, engage in the Google discussion group on the social media press release, catch up on Rocketboom?

Uh-oh.

I'm all for this new media thing, but even with my toe barely in the water, I can already see the risk of irrelevance driven by information overload and an inability to separate the wheat from the chaff. After all, are RSS readers really that different from "push" technology? (Please do let me know what Pointcast channels you are still subscribed to.)

This is not an attack on blogs, podcasts, wikis, etc. It's more a call to action to make sure we are using them (and viewing them) as means to an end - whether it's selling more product, advocating for a social issue or figuring out what movie to drop 10 bucks on.

The value is in the content and the connections with like-minded people (meaning people who care about the same things, not necessarily share the same opinios on them). Yes, we must remain engaged, but posting for posting's sake doesn't necessarily do anything to further the discussion.

UPDATE: Maybe I should have scrolled through those RSS feeds first, after all...looks like Mike Manual is of a similar mind.

8.04.2006

Can't we all...

Thanks to Matt Podboy for highlighting another journalist ‘calling out’ shoddy PR.

The tension between PR pros and journalists is at the same time both silly and totally justified. It's silly because we need each other and, done right, we help each other do a better job. It's justified b/c it is done right far too infrequently, as Network World’s Paul McNamara points out.

I agree with Matt that it's generally bad form for journalists to call out flaks. The problem is our industry keeps giving them so many opportunities to do so! We have an obligation to be professional, creative and thoughtful – even in the face of client and supervisor pressures. (And yes, journalists, too have a reciprocal responsibility to the PR community…responsiveness should not be just a one-way street when they want access to a client and are on deadline.)

Frankly, it’s really not that hard. Giving people what they want is almost always a sure fire way of getting what you need.

8.01.2006

The king is dead! Long live the king!

Robert Scoble is touting the 'demise of big conferences' using Colin Cambell's analysis on the collapse of E3 as a jumping off point.

There's certainly validity to the arguments to be made against big shows (in fact, I've made them myself to many clients over the years). My fear is that the pendulum may swing too far. Sure, a blog may be a more effective news dissemination vehicle than a conference. (In yet another fact, I'd argue that for most companies big conferences were poor venues to break news even before the advent of blogs.) And, yes, the Internet allows people to interact and collaborate in exciting and myriad ways.

But you can't convince me that means there is no longer a place for like-minded people (or at least people with common interests) to gather and meet in-person. All businesses are built on relationships. And relationships cannot be nurtured through electronic channels alone.

I'm a fan of blogs (duh) and am fascinated and energized by the what else is going on in new media/Web 2.0/citizen journalism. But just like conferences...and press releases...and analyst relations...new media tactics should be considered arrows in the quiver, not magic bullets.