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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hold the front page

First thing today I received an email from a PR. It was clearly sent to hundreds, if not thousands, of media contacts.
The opening line was a hoot. It read "I thought you would like to read these press releases."
I've been pondering the fatuousness of this thought ever since. The last time anybody in the media actually wanted to read a press release was back in the days when there was a fighting chance that the information contained therein had not already been published.
Think about it. If the same information has been sent to lots of other people at the same time then it is of no use to me. It has already been published (albeit to a load of journalists) and I will come to it in time via a multitude of different sources. I do not need the PR to send it to me. If it's interesting I'll find it.
However the very fact that a PR has sent it to means that it is probably not of any interest. This is on the grounds that news is anything that somebody somewhere doesn't wish you to read.
All over the world PRs are being paid to send out group emails containing information of little consequence, sometimes breathlessly tagged as embargoed until a certain date, most of which go straight into the waste bin.
It could be that I'm a unusually cynical old scrote but all of the hundreds of emails that arrive in my Inbox every day are deleted unread unless they are addressed to me personally and give the appearance of containing a message that is for me and me alone.
Presumably they're doing it because the very act of hitting the "send" button entitles them to assure their masters they've done something to earn their corn.
It can't go on.