Dear PR, take this quiz before sending a press release back to bloggers.

Written by BL Ochman (from whatsnextonline.com), a sort of test that every PR person should take before sending out a press release to hundreds (or thousands) of bloggers. She published it in 2007, but as she says, it's still relevant today, although I think in the Hispanic blogosphere it's more important today than ever:

  1. Has the journalist/blogger you are sending the information to already written or mentioned anything on the subject?
  2. Will the statement provoke a reaction from people who read it?
  3. Is the press release trash in word form?
  4. Would anyone share the bill with a friend or colleague?
  5. Have you ever used Google to find out what the journalists and bloggers on your list are saying about your competitors?
  6. Have you read the competition press releases?
  7. Have you checked if any blogs on your list have already written about the news you plan to communicate?
  8. Can you shorten your statement?

Every day we receive dozens of press releases of all kinds, subjects, extensions, with photos, without photos, in PDF, Word, HTML, pure text; 99% are irrelevant, most of it is old stuff that came out on the web (coincidentally posted on blogs) days or even weeks ago. There are many cases in which they send us communications of things that we had already written.

Also, I think I'd add a few tips, things that have already been said, really, but are perhaps important to remember:

  1. Press releases, in general, are not a way to approach online media, including bloggers. It's better for a company/service to have a blog (or Twitter, even) where they can announce what's new.

  2. The mass sending of emails to communicate news has become noise. It doesn't matter if the photos are not included in the email and are uploaded to Flickr. It doesn't matter if it's a PDF that replaces a Word. Interesting and important information stands out by itself. Traditional mass media can still accommodate these ways of receiving information, but it is better to use natural language through contact forms or simply publish the news somewhere and subscribe to it. RSS feeds would help a lot.

  3. Unsolicited information is spam. It doesn't matter if there is a link to describe, it's still spam; If you have not requested permission to send information or do not use appropriate means to do so, the email goes to the unsolicited folder.

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