Media releases are statements issued to the media for the purposes of informing that media’s audience of something they may find newsworthy or interesting. Increasingly media releases are being used as a substitute for advertising.
SafetyAtWorkBlog has an editorial policy that releases advertising a product are not used as the basis for an article. One example of such a strongly commercially focussed media release is HERE. However, we read almost all media releases received and take great pains on those we “use”, to identify the original source be it a survey report, research or a court case.
Any content we quote is clearly identified as coming from a media release so that the reader understands the context of the information and the way that information, mostly, arrives at SafetyAtWorkBlog.
Such product promotion releases have a place in many of the OHS and safety trade publications and websites. Safety Solutions is one site/magazine, for which I have written in the past, that clearly states its aim, which is to provide solutions to workplace risks, often these involve products such as gauges and interlock devices.
An annoyance for SafetyAtWorkBlog is that many of the OHS websites and new media do not differentiate advertisements from news. It is not the case that the release of a new product is news.
“…an ambitious and forward-thinking journal that strives to capture the essence of what is truly Intelligent Technology news. The News provides its readers with comprehensive, intelligent and up-to-date IT industry news and analysis on-line realtime and off-line monthly basis.”
Yet it “reports” about a spray can attachment.
The link included above shows a media release received by SafetyAtWorkBlog on 22 February 2010. The release’s content is dated on the company’s website as November 2009.
The public relations company, if one was used, is doing a good job if the aim is to distribute product information around the globe but if the information is turning up on websites that are off-topic, the exercise seems pointless.
This blog is an example of one use of new media that is taking advantage of the opening of information sources online. But from the outset SafetyAtWorkBlog established editorial policies and an aim for the blog. We do not aggregate the news that circulates around the internet. We select what we think can add to the state of knowledge on safety management and for the safety professionals. Poor use of media releases simply shows infrequent users of the internet how crappy the internet can be.