Heck of a post by Mark Glaser today on messaging overkill by PR folks. Excerpt:
PR people want executives at the company to stay "on message," always expressing the official company line. A good journalist, however, does not want to write a story full of canned comments spoon-fed by PR people...
When asking YouTube about the popularity of World Cup videos on the site, B&C received a quote from YouTube senior director of marketing Julie Supan that was very similar to quotes given to me at MediaShift for a Q&A with YouTube CEO Chad Hurley...
What Supan said: "Users of YouTube have been documenting their firsthand accounts of world events ever since we started the service."
What Hurley said: "Users of YouTube have been documenting their first-hand accounts of world events ever since we started the service."...
Be it the World Cup or the war in Iraq, simply plug in your global event, and presto! -- you've got a YouTube quote.
We're sure Mark's post left the PR folks at YouTube a little red-faced -- but, to be honest, it made our cheeks a tad pinkish as well.
We have to admit it: As much as we try to be a Web 2.0 hipster in our practice, we're as guilty as the flackiest flacks in the business of this little crime.
Why, you ask?
Well, let's see: We've been doing this for 15 years, and we've seen ruthless consistency in messaging work time and time again. It works so well, it's hard to turn away from it -- even a little.
Mark's post really goes to a central fact about PR -- that in many ways it's the oil-meets-water nexus between journalism and advertising. Ultimately, it benefits companies and, we believe, benefits journalists, too. But it can be a little messy.
Scott Baradell is CEO of the unified PR and marketing agency Idea Grove, one of the top 25 technology PR firms in the United States. His first book,
Trust Signals, is scheduled for publication in 2021.