It is Almost like the Middle Man Isn’t Needed Anymore…

The standard press release. For decades it has been the weapon of choice for flaks to disseminate “important” news and updates. Its beauty was in its simplicity. It is a static, controllable, one way communication tool that tells the reader everything the company determines is valuable, newsworthy information. It even spawned the PR wire service industry seen through companies such as PR Newswire and Business Wire.

I thought there was nothing that could take down this now trival document, but the SEC announced it will now allow companies to satisfy fair disclosure requirements through their Web site. What does this mean? Well instead of two pages of hype and quotes fired off to any and every reporter that could possibly be coaxed into covering a company update, we can now communicate legally via blogs and other Web 2.0 technologies that allow for audio, video and images packaged around bulleted top line information that can be accessed by RSS feeds. Some suggest this opens the door for the Social Media Release. I suppose this could advance communication, assuming it is not riddled with corporate speak. Hopefully the most powerful result of this decision is the breakdown of the controlled, prepackaged communication structure that infects accurate reporting. Now if we can only outlaw message training…

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