PR/Media Week in Review 03-15-2009

Mark Rose, Editor, PRBlogNews, PR/Media Week in Review R.I.P.  P.I.  The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a 146 year old newspaper, is set to die this week and may turn into a web-only publication. The Seattle Times, the other newspaper that serves the city, may also fold soon, leaving a major U.S. city without a daily newspaper.

Newspapers are not simply paper, ink, words and images. They take on the personality of the city they cover, they become part of the cultural and political fabric, they span generations, house the archival memory, keep politicians and corporations honest… and they create jobs.

Most blogs echo what qualified news organizations report. With no ‘original’ reporting that adheres to an accepted, established code of responsible journalism we are left with hacks, charlatans and opportunists to promulgate ‘news.’  There is a road to survival for U.S. newspapers, argues David Carr of  The New York Times, although it will involve a radically different approach not likely to find traction among regulators or publishers.

A press statement issued by Chicago’s Daley administration announced the cancelling of $55 million in city public relations contracts, which represented the jettisoning of “non essential services.” Now we know. The contracts were terminated with extreme prejudice as an “absurd” waste of taxpayer money. See Sun-Times story. There are several ironies in that story. 1) The statement was issued by the press (PR) office. 2) By slashing PR contracts politicians and government workers are left to communicate without assistance, a dangerous proposition that threatens to undermine public discourse.

See YouTube video below on Wells Fargo and its use of blogs. Wells Fargo gets ‘it’ – they have bloggers and editors on staff. This is a good video on what it takes, step by step, to use a blog up front for PR benefit during a crisis. It is good to remember that a blog is simply an easy to launch, simple to maintain web publishing platform. You can fill it as you wish, regulate it, take the pulse of the public, adapt accordingly, respond when necessary.

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