Press Conference

September 21st, 2010 Comments Off

Water mass bodies of the Southern Ocean
Water mass bodies of the Southern Ocean
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Press conferences and press releases are not about visibility or marketing, but about setting the record straight.

Sadly many marketing people and their bosses don’t understand that and journalists are left alone in finding only the relevant information in the information noise that is being thrown at them every day. And even more sad, lot’s of them don’t know that anymore as well and think that what used to be ‘reporting’ is just a game of swimming in the attention flow, and see their role in it an equivalent of eddies in the stream that ensure only the strongest survive.

I realized this recently when after long time again I read about a proper ‘use case‘ of press conference. It was held by Ljubljana nursery hospital, where they recently found one nurse infected with tuberculosis. And the press went wild, writing a lot of guesswork, opinions, catchy headlines. Stirring the waters without serious reporting really. Of course the public was worried, and after a few days even scared.

And then the director of the hospital held the conference and explained that they have everything under control, that tuberculosis is far from being  dangerous these days, that it’s routinely curable, not very contagious, and that everybody should just go home and let the medics to their job. I believe this was an example of a properly used press conference, well prepared and timely.

Now of  course there are other types of situations in which a press release and/or conference are properly used, but I wanted to use this one to illustrate the difference between news and gossip, reporting and writing, traditional and contemporary media (not new).

Wouldn’t it be great if ‘journalists’ would do their job in the first place, including the old ‘three-sources’ story verification, and tell the public that they don’t have to worry and should focus on the relevant issues.

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