Marketer Intends to Write Blog Post Criticizing The WeblogWire

My Brief, Brief Press ReleaseI couldn’t help but have a little fun at the expense of this new service that enables bloggers to receive press releases. All it cost me was 50 bucks:

After a dinner of sweet and sour chicken and yang zhou fried rice, marketer and blogger Darren Barefoot announced tonight that he will write a blog post criticizing WeblogWire, a new service that promises to deliver press releases to bloggers. Barefoot remarked that he would get around to it after viewing Veronica Mars, assuming it was an episode he hadn’t seen.

Really, this is a bad idea. All it teaches PR people is that the Old Ways are Good, and that press releases can now deliver the blogosphere as they have delivered the mainstream media before. Media and blogger relations (and they’re not very different) is all about relationships, which tend to cost more in time and effort than fifty bucks.

UPDATE: Gosh, that didn’t take long. They took it down. Here’s a screenshot, for the record. I hope they refund my fifty American dollars.

UPDATE #2: And here’s the full body of my New Media Release:

Marketer Intends to Write Blog Post Criticizing The WeblogWire
Industry professional has an opinion, and believes others will care to hear it

After a dinner of sweet and sour chicken and yang zhou fried rice, marketer and blogger Darren Barefoot announced tonight that he will write a blog post criticizing WeblogWire, a new service that promises to deliver press releases to bloggers. Barefoot remarked that he would get around to it after viewing Veronica Mars, assuming it was an episode he hadn’t seen.

Barefoot’s post promises to be a bleeding edge aggregation of community conversations and transcendant social connectivity.
“What’s this WeblogWire bollocks about, anyhow?” Barefoot mused over a fortune cookie. “Sure, it’s cool that they made it in a week for $500, but do we really want to encourage PR people to just spam bloggers with press releases? I guess if bloggers want to feel more like journalists, then inviting zillions of media releases is one way to do it. Now, where’s the remote control?”

“In the world of PR Newswire, BusinessWire, PRimezone, MarketWire, PR Web and a multitude of other wire services that are now offering RSS feeds, it’s good to have a wire service that targets bloggers only, said Jeremy Pepper, POP! PR Jots blogger. “This will fit in perfectly with the new media press release, especially if it is the first wire service that can actually DO the new media press release. No, seriously. I do look forward to see how it works, and what it does–well, except those pesky SEC wire rules.”

Barefoot reportedly was considering using a blockquote, bulleted list, and a Flickr photo of a plucked chicken in his blog post. Tags were also a possibility. He briefly considered but rejected a podcast, on the grounds that he can’t find his headset.

Media Contact

Darren Barefoot
Capulet Communications
darren@capulet.com
604.727.5345

UPDATE #3: I’m having an offline conversation on this subject, and I thought I’d repeat some of my thoughts here:

My point was that a service like this enables (and I use that term in the pop psychology sense) publicists’ traditional behaviour. That is, that the press release is a critical tool for disseminating information.

Progressive marketing theory (see, say, The Cluetrain Manifesto or Tara Hunt’s Pinko Marketing initiative) advocates building relationships with influencers and opinion-makers, whether they be journalists, analysts or bloggers.

The right approach to connecting with bloggers is through thorough research, careful reading and fostering of relationships. PR professionals should seek to have conversations with 10 influential bloggers in their space, not just push out a press release.

I appreciate, of course, that the bloggers themselves willingly subscribe. However, by definition, the bloggers that a publicist should really want to talk to, probably won’t sign up. Those bloggers may be willing to listen to marketing folks who take the time to get to know them and to engage them with compelling ideas.

See, the blogosphere scares publicists. I know because I am one (part of the time), and I talk to (and sometimes at) a lot of marketers. The WeblogWire reinforces traditional activities, which isn’t a strategy I particularly advocate.

5 comments

  1. Whoops, sorry about that. Let me see if I still have the full release. It’s because I cut and pasted your quote in from elsewhere (Skype, as it were).

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