This may be a bit of a personal gripe, however, it really does need to be said. PR and marketing professionals really do need to get a grip and start to understand how “press” works and how new media functions. Indeed there is overlap, however, there’s also many differences. Many PR people are simply consumed with getting their “news” out there, regardless of how it’s done and how it reflects on their brand and image. Simply put, news (ie. announced in formal press releases and distributed to journalists, industry analysts and others) is simply that… NEWS. PR releases should be focused on a newsworthy announcement, perhaps details of an event, a key hire (sorry but no, not a new intern or even another GIS tech), a software release (or update) , you know… something that’s newsworthy.
Recently I’ve received “news releases” from companies because they have started on Twitter and on facebook… I’m sorry, but come on! The fact that your company is using a social tool like facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or ??? is NOT news. The best way to promote the fact that you’re trying to go social is to actually use social outlets to share this information. Penning a proper press release to announce yet another social bookmark is only adding to the noise and in my mind could back-fire. Got a new Twitter account, well then, get on Twitter, post something interesting, make a blog posting, connect with some industry people and start sharing – that’s how you get word out about your Twitter account. You should also add links from your blog, website, and promote your Twitter (and other social media accounts) in your staff email signatures and promotional material.