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22 August 2008



I completely agree. This is a man who knows nothing about PR - as evidenced by his suggestions about having to buy huge media databases (which all freelance PRs can afford, naturally) and 'blast out releases', not to mention his belief that 'most PR is around product reviews' - rubbish. And they trust him to 'fix PR'?

Also, as you say, his solution is almost purely based on journalists subscribing to RSS feeds. This doesn't necessarily help for a lot of reasons - some companies may only dabble in an area you're interested in; it also doesn't stop releases being poorly written or build good relationships.

He also says 'people [journalists] don't have time to be on the phone' - but if this is true, surely they don't have time to watch a video embedded in a 'social media release' either?

His own skills at PR (irrespective of his views on 'traditional' PR) are also suspect. He's effectively done his product launch with the Guardian, but doesn't have anything to back it up on his own website.

Lastly, he contradicts himself again by talking about the need for conversations between PRs (or their clients - this isn't entirely clear) and journalists to identify an angle on an item. But surely not all journalists have the time for this? If you're smart enough to tailor your pitch to each journalist you contact and tailor your angle to the section of press you're talking to, you won't need to discuss it - you can simply present it - and without too many tweaks, you're onto a winner.

All that said, James' background is mostly in publishing and systems development (except for a brief stint as a junior editor in the US, which might explain his views on PR) so perhaps we should be a bit forgiving about his views. However, I think he probably should have thought twice before doing a podcast with the Guardian...

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