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Friday, May 11, 2007

"It's more effective to send releases through the post than email."

That was one of the more intriguing and interesting insights at a recent CIPR / MMU "Meet the editors" event.

Helen Carter, northern correspondent of the Guardian, advised that PRs should send key releases in the post because they stand out against the volumes of releases that can be "lost" in her e-mail. Postal releases are less likely to be ignored or missed.

Not sure about whether this preference applies to many journalists although things can get lost in the deluge of correspondence.

Helen and James Wilson's (FT) key points are that they do read blogs (Helen more than James). They do use search engines to find stories but blogs can be too slow for some stories as a source.

There is "a shift in thinking" according to Helen. The newspapers have been slow to adapt to the Internet but that is changing as younger readers do not buy many newspapers. The Guardian's foreign and city stories go on the website first. Podcasting is becoming common as is video camera.

And as Craig McGinty, fellow blogger, says newspapers will be replaced by mobiles to receive news or some other technical device is echoed by Helen. I think this is still open to discussion. The paperless office was touted first in the 1970s and my office is a mess of paper today. I aim to resolve that shortly. Sitting on the fence on this.

Lastly and encouragingly, nationals do pick up local stories regularly and see this as a valuable resource.

Thanks to all those who organised the event.


Blogger Dreamscape Solutions said...

Hi Rob,
Interesting article concerning using snail mail over email. As a recipient of reams of snail mail, I can confirm that I much prefer the electronic version, which is greener to dispose of...and rarely contains a red demand...

6:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

rrAs many people print out emails anyway (and many people send email and press releases in the post) I wouldn't say I was encouraging people to be less environmentally friendly.
I was trying to explain how to get your message across to journalists.
If you get 100+ emails a day (as I do) it is easy to delete emails without reading them.
There is also the telephone...

Helen Carter
Northern correspondent
The Guardian

7:15 AM

Anonymous Rob Artisan said...


I think Dreamscape from what I know of them is displaying their sense of humour and are not being serious.

I would have thought returning to your point about sending paper copies it is an unusual viewpoint and I wonder if there are more journalists that appreciate receiving postal as well as e-mail release.

Any views?


5:59 AM

Anonymous Craig McGinty said...

Interesting piece by Andrew Marr on ebooks and more:,,2077277,00.html

2:57 PM

Anonymous Craig said...

Or try...


3:00 PM

Blogger docs2digital said...

Hi Rob,
I wanted to take a minute and comment on your “paperless office” dilemma. Yes, I do have a small company that delivers document management to companies of various sizes. Yes, it is possible to go paperless. The software solutions that provide this are in the hundreds now. However be care in your choice. Many of the new start ups go away quickly as they cant capture enough market share. Others use proprietary databases that can be a night mare. Others provide decent document management solutions but have little or no security (you may as well leave your file cabs out on the street in front of your office). Don’t be hesitant to do this just be careful. We have taken Fortune 500 companies paperless as well as 1-2 person offices. The companies that do not go this route are falling further and further behind the competition everyday. Our website is

R. Bruce

9:51 AM

Anonymous tom said...

Nice plug Mr Bruce...

On e vs snail mail, it is horses for courses - for delivering press releases and for any type of marketing communication.

Does any journalist really want to receive a minor product announcement in any format? At least with email it is green and easy to delete/ignore.

But if you have a release that will be worth the paper it is written on, go ahead, print away. While you're at it, you might want to amp it up with a suitably eye-catching package/gift/video/whizzbangdoodle.

Send it to half as many journalists but spend twice as much time making sure it goes to the right ones and that it says something genuinely newsworthy.

But whatever format you send it in, just don't call them checking it has arrived!

10:33 AM


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