A dirty little secret about PR: they give certain press “exclusives” to try to get the story out better. This still goes on all the time. Why does Walt Mossberg or Steven Levy write about something before everyone else does? Cause PR types work with them to build trust, build relationships, and then reward that trust with an exclusive.
Trouble is that the world of PR is changing. Back in the 1980s you only needed to deal with a few people to get the message out. But now a kid sitting in Australia with only a handful of readers can go from obscurity to the front page of the New York Times in, what, 48 hours? (I’ve seen pretty much just that happen).
Now every single one of us has the power to have “the exclusive.” It really is messing with PR team’s heads as they try to deal with this new world of 20,000,000 people who can make or break your PR plans. It was so much easier back when you only needed to deal with a few hundred or less.
What am I talking about? Well, look at Ed Bott’s article in ZDNet. There are two forces arguing these issues inside of Microsoft. I’m here at the Blog Business Summit’s editorial meeting and I’m hearing stories of the same thing playing out all over the place. “Do we treat bloggers as press?” If so, how?
Are we seeing the death of the exclusive? I hope so. That’s what I’m fighting for. The “Z list” should have access to info as soon as the “A list” does.
I just want NDA rules that apply the same to everyone. What do you think?
Update: Chris Pirillo writes that the scoop no longer exists. Oh, Chris, we all want credit for our work! But, he’s right. To me it’s just “are you part of the conversation?” Do you want to be and are you being locked out? Then let’s fix that!