I create context. I also write blog posts:

What’s Stopping Us From Being Better?

Posted: November 6th, 2011 | Author: | No Comments »

(Still getting used to my new Wacom tablet; how’s that for handwriting?!

Just saw someone online saying that, with Twitter and other nearly-immediate online news sources, the press release is becoming defunct. Now, I don’t want to talk about the merit of press releases, because, frankly, I don’t know anything about them. But I do want to use this as an example of a broader thought, which is about ideas and where they come from.

So anyways, there’s this article that points out how journalism is changing and one of the conclusions to be drawn is that press releases are less relevant than they used to be (again, whether that conclusion is right or wrong, I don’t know…). And I started thinking about a recent press release that got my attention, because it was a good *idea*.

In August, Hubspot (a marketing blog) announced they had purchased social media marketing company One Forty. They did so with a series of tweets… that made up a press release.

To make things interesting (and easily sharable!), the company wrote out the announcement in 140 character chunks, perfect for pasting to Twitter. It caught my attention because it’s exactly the kind of thing that combats the “press releases are becoming defunct because Twitter boils everything down to the shortest possible blurb” theory.

*More importantly,* it was a creative spin on things. I couldn’t really care less about the actual event, but I checked it out anyways. It caught my attention, so imagine what it did for people who actually *did* care?

My point: it’s easy to say that one thing changing completely changes something else. So you change too, and move on with life, right?

But that might be a little lazy. What if, instead of saying, “Twitter is killing press releases,” we said, “Twitter is changing the way we need to share information?” Instead of giving up, what if we put effort into reacting and adapting.

When something changes, we need to be more creative in our reactions, not less. It’s not that we’re out of ideas, it’s that we seem to have run out of time to think of ideas. Too often, we say “it’s fine” or “it’s dead” or “if there were a better way, someone would have thought of it.” The press release isn’t dead, it just needs to be refreshed. So does the website and the television ad and the direct mail campaign and everything else we’re doing. Everything needs refreshing, because I keep hearing about things the Internet is killing, and I don’t think it’s all true.

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