Socially Optimized or Optimally Socialized?

Ahhhh. The news release. That poor, beleaguered PR tool that has died a thousand deaths, only to be reborn — optimally and socially speaking.

This morning I was greeted with a text message from media maven Lisa Kovitz who tipped me to our friend and doyenne Laurel Touby’s answer to the myriad unsolicited (and misguided) press releases that clutter her inbox.

Laurel has debuted “Release Me: The Press Release Blog” (Richard and Kevin, are you listening?) Here’s her explanation:

“I get so many press releases every day, I don’t know what to do with them. But, I know that someone out there cares. So, I’ve decided to create an entire blog comprised of nothing more than press releases. Select PR people will be invited to post there. I’m calling this experiment, Release Me.”

Laurel, I hope you realize that this is NOT the best way to manage your overloaded inbox. In fact, quite the contrary. Good luck with it.

Segueing over to a Business Wire breakfast this morning featuring the SEM/SEO specialist (and my former Ziff-Davis client) Greg Jarboe, ClickZ and Search Engine Watch editor Rebecca Lieb (who appeared anonymously in a previous post concerning the drowning of one MacBook Pro), Web 1.0 vet and co-founder of the Social Media Club Howard Greenstein, and Melanie Mitchell, AOL’s optimizer queen who heads SEM/SEO for the reinvented web portal. Laura Sturaitis, BW’s VP, new media development, introed the panel.

Hmmm. No PR people? Well, I guess Greg will always be a PR person at heart.

Notable quotables:

Jarboe: “News releases have leapfrogged the trade pubs for reaching the knowledge worker and influencing purchase decisions.”

Lieb: “We’re not only competing against other publications [to break stories], but we’re competing against you.”

Jarboe: “We generated more client site traffic from a post on that we did from one on…more from than

Lieb: I not only subscribe to the RSS feeds of Business Wire and its competitors, but also to those of the companies I follow…like Google.

Jarboe: There is nothing automated about optimizing a press release. Nothing will replace sound business judgement.

Greenstein: “Social Media are the forms of media where people come to share their ideas, interests, passions and opinions, and give people the ability to share the message with others.”