This week I am hosting a discussion on the IAOC blog on direct-to-consumer press releases. IAOC is the International Association of Online Communicators, a terrific organization that focuses on, well, online communications. Please take a look at the discussion and please jump in
That the Web has changed the rules for press releases is not disputed. Press releases are now read by millions of consumers on Google News, Yahoo News, newspaper and magazine sites and thousands of vertical market sites. Thousands of organizations are submitting press releases to the wire services (PRWeb, BusinessWire, PR Newswire, NewsReleaseWire.com, and others) with the purpose of reaching buyers directly. For these marketers, reaching consumers is the goal and if a journalist happens to see the press release, that's an added benefit.
Since I first posted my free e-book The New Rules of PR on my blog, 75,000 people have downloaded it and hundreds of bloggers, including heavy hitters like Seth Godin have jumped into the discussions. What do you think?
Many PR professionals resist direct-to-consumer PR. They say that it isn't pure. I often hear PR pros say that the purpose of PR is to influence the media and have them tell your story. Yes, but today you can also tell your story directly.
Is it time to step it up and consider the promise Web 2.0 public relations holds? Do we need to alter the way we think about press releases? Or, as Steve Rubel has said, do "direct-to-consumer press releases suck"?