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In Messaging, Ruthless Consistency May Be Annoying, But It Works

Published: July 11, 2006       Updated: May 13, 2024

2 min read


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.

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