What’s a Press Conference?

I like to link to a post I wrote at ValleyPRblog last week that received some good comments. I was curious to know who in the media had attended Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s press conference.

“I always thought a press conference was called when you had something of value to offer to the media. So when I received a text alert yesterday to say that Arpaio won’t run for governor, I was tempted to wonder what other bits of non-news might get the media to come over with cameras and notepads.” Read the rest and the commments here

It opened up a great discussion of what is a press conference. Is it an event? One reader suggested the act of announcing something to a targeted audience –via email — is no different.  Another reader pointed us to a marvelous exchange between Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary and the press corps. Apart from exploring the definition of a press conference, it shows us how a great host can disagree with the audience and still get the feedback that serves everyone, and doesn’t waste their time.

View the video here.

Quotes for the week ending 30 April, 2010

The press release is dead, whether or not it’s optimized for social media. When was the last time you sent a release to a reporter who then replied with enthusiasm about covering your story?

Len Gutman, at ValleyPRBlog

Maybe it’s the term press release that is antiquated. Perhaps it should be called a fact sheet or project overview.

Holly Harmon, a reader commenting on the above.

“We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.”

An email circulating this week, written by someone supposedly form Wall Street

“An enraging piece of utter nonsense”

Huffington Post, commenting on the “We aren’t dinosaurs” email above

Quotes for the week ending 8 November, 2008

“Thank you for painting your barns, canvassing by horseback, and volunteering alongside your Llama for Obama.”

Message of thanks on the BarackObama.com blog

“We should be careful of these zero-sum games where the new media drives out the old.”

Andrew Hayward, former president of CBS News, in The New York Times, commenting on political campaigns in the web 2.0 world.

“If I actually had a set of tear ducts, I’d probably cry.”

Angela Navtividad, at AdRants.com, reporting on the jubilation among Manhattanites on Barack Obama’s victory on Tuesday.

“The long nightmare is OVER!”

Comments by an avatar (!) going by the name Jordanna Beaumont, in Obama’s unofficial Second Life Headquarters.

“It’s marketing, not news … a bad idea executed with pompous pancake-faced flourishes and meaningless ta-da’s.”

Jim Veihdeffer, commenting at ValleyPRBlog on a post about the way a local TV news station did a story on LinkedIn.

“The public relations practitioner in me has to wonder why clients – even celebs – smugly throw their communications team under the bus when they aren’t happy with a decision made by management?”

Blog post at Phoenix PR agency, HMAPR, on ABC firing Brooke Smith in Grey’s Anatomy, and co-star Patrick Dempsey’s comments about the decision.

“He deserved better from his supporters. I was embarrassed when I heard the booing.”

Dan Wool, co-blogger at ValleyPRBlog, commenting on the response John McCain got during his concession speech, from an invitation-only audience of his “base” in Phoenix.

“I’m really glad it’s over.”

Raja Petra, a 58-year old blogger and editor of a site in Malaysia who was released after two months.

“insisting on a 20th century world behind the walls of the State Department while the watching a 21st century world develop outside the walls is not a sustainable posture…”

Sean McCormack, Assistant Secretary of State, on launching Briefing 2.0 on YouTube.

Wake-up call for “DOS-based’ PRSA

My fellow blogger, Len Gutman at ValleyPRBlog is truly incensed by his profession’s approach to social media. I would have usually saved this quote for my Quotes of the week, but it’s too important to let it go. Here’s what Len says.

“The PRSA Web site is an embarrassment to the profession in terms of style and content. No social media strategy, no blogs, not even any discussion boards as far as I can tell. Is the site DOS-based?”

And here is the full post –I mean rant.

Quotes from the week of 26 January, 2008

“All we did was add more elves.”

Ann Bologna, president of Toy, on the success of the “elf yourself” campaign for Office Max, that drew visitors to visit the site and create 123 million elves, translating in to a reach of 26.4 million people.

“The difference is that we now have to provide a little foreplay before going all the way.”

Len Gutman, at ValleyPRBlog, on the need for symbiotic relationships between hacks and flacks via social media.

“Everyone wants the Tiffany box, but there is no Tiffany box.”

Dave Coffey, director of media services at Sapient, on a survey of 120 professionals about digital marketing budgets, and the inability to measure social networking gains.

“A vast dynamic knowledge ecosystem that is in a constant state of creation, use, reuse and improvement.”

Jimmy Wales and Rich Baraniuk in an Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, on their dream of making textbooks and learning material open to everyone, and the Capetown Declaration.

“There was a basic lack of integrity in the Clinton show last night.”

Larry Lessig on the Democratic debate, and the possible infection of the Clintom campaign with the “Karl Rove virus.”

“Appalling” and “saddening”

Senator Hillary Clinton, responding to Karl Rove’s recent suggestion that the Democrats responded to 9/11 with timidity.

“We’ve changed our whole marketing plan so we can leverage something out of this smokin’ hot spot.”

Bob Parsons, CEO of GoDaddy on getting a Super Bowl ad approved by the Fox network, after submitting 10 other “edgy” commercials that were rejected, as they were for the past few years.

“Journalists are such tools.”

A reader of the Arizona Republic commenting on the fact that this rejection-approval “story” has been repeated for many years.

Quotes for the week 10/27/07

“Stunts such as this will not be tolerated or repeated.”

Homeland Security spokeswoman Laura Keehner, commenting on FEMA‘s fake News Conference on the California fires on Tuesday 23rd Oct, where federal agency employees played the role of reporters asking questions of their boss.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m a little burnt on just being a “PR guy.” There’s so much more to what we do, so why not work on the PR for the PR and actually improve things.”

Brian Solis on the “new rules” of PR and why Robert Scoble should be a PR guy.

10Questions is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to hasten the end of the age of soundbite TV politics and start the era of community conversation.”

From a post in OffTheBus, a crowdsourcing experiment in political campaign reporting by NewAssignment.Net and HuffPost.

“The connected consumer. There are four major driving forces: Digitization, Convergence, Media Snacking and Social Networking.”

Duncan Wardle, VP Global & WDW Public Relations, speaking at PRSA’s International conference on 22 October, 2007.

“My hope is that this tried and tested ‘disinfectant’ can help restore some of the luster to the reputation of the USA here at home and among our friends throughout the world.”

Visitor’s comment left at the State Department blog, Dipnote, that just started this week.

“Bring a technology solution to a technology-induced problem … Can you hear me now?”

Dan Wool, at ValleyPRBlog, suggesting that mobile phones come equipped with a ‘drive mode’ that sends callers and texters an automatic response to know that you are driving and cannot be distracted .