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September 20, 2007

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Daryl Willcox

You're absolutely spot-on - PR activity should be based on value to the client.
But in the online world, value is not simply measured by 'readership'.
Put simply, traditional PR has the capacity to influence people. Whereas online PR can influence people, direct them to client websites and boost client search rankings. Online PR gives you three bangs for your buck. See http://www.dwpubsporadic.com/2007/08/online-pr-and-s.html

Daljit B

I think the issue of irrelevant press releases is one which needs to be tackled. I was judging some PR award entries recently and the number of releases issued over a 12-month period was often highlighted as a key measurement and output of the campaign! Unsurprisingly sending out over ten releases a month seemed to result in little or no meaningful coverage.

In my experience the notion that the more releases issued the better the campaign and the better the media coverage is one which is often held at board level. Many in-house PR and marketing managers who should know better continue to get their agencies to churn out releases to keep their ill informed and out of date superiors happy. As has been pointed out any meaningful measurement framework for PR has to be in-depth and multi-facetted but the metric of releases issued is one which is just easier to put before the money men when reviewing the PR budget.

For the agency it’s also an easy ride - it takes a strong one to say enough is enough. Yes, in most cases it’s a complete waste of money but for lazy clients and lazy agencies it remains a state of affairs too comfortable to challenge.

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