“Press release as blog post” drives me mad

MH at Syniadau says:

I have to admit to not being fond of the way that political parties interact with the media before a general election. Policy tends to get broken down into bite-sized chunks that will fit into a one column story or a two minute video clip on the news. There is no room for any detail.

Clywch, clywch! “Press release as blog post” drives me mad. Several times I’ve wanted to learn more and explore the detail – and been let down. By all the parties.

Boiling a complex issue down to a single press release with few or no links is too simplistic. It’s designed for newspapers, radio and TV, who have limited space. But news is, we have endless space on the web.

It also makes me think we’re stuck in familiar habits. Then just bolting on our digital media strategy.

Although I include party politics, this observation is applicable in many fields. We can do far better than this in Wales.

e.g. how about a manifesto wiki (or some kind of open collaborative platform) with deep levels of detail and relevant outbound links depending on how far you want to go down? People can ask questions, suggest improvements and help make it better and more accurate. It’s not expensive. Nobody in Wales is trying this at the moment.

(I know Hywel Williams AS tried something similar once with Wiki Deddfu, the technology was there but it lacked the investment of time and understanding of the human side. Also, it’s vanished from the web so we can’t learn the lessons and you can’t check if my analysis is correct.)

Corollary: it’s very hard to find a blog written by a PR company in Wales which is actually worth your time. Maybe it’s the curse of feeling you have to be “on message”. Comment if you know differently.

3 Replies to ““Press release as blog post” drives me mad”

  1. Neu bai’r rhai sy’n adrodd newyddion? Yn ddigon hapus bod yn ddiog a chyhoeddi datganiad newyddion fel newyddion, yn lle gwneud ymchwil eu hunain.

  2. I often put press releases on our Wrecsam Plaid blog, but whereas in a press release you would include “Notes to the editor” as a footnote, in the blog posting you try to link to relevant background info.

    I don’t often link to the main Plaid website for the fuller picture – something we should do more often, so you’ve got one person thinking at least!

    What I would say as well is that Syniadau’s original posting on this evolved as a result of comments – as do many good blog postings. So it’s important that the interactive element is encouraged so that someone not content with the original press release challenges the politicians to deliver on the detail.

  3. @Huw Efallai ond mae pawb yn gallu adrodd felly dylen ni disgwyl “newyddion” manwl o’r pleidiau.

    @marc Good observation about Syniadau. I think a party can start doing this without any new software or platforms. It means being a bit less opaque about thought processes. The way MH at Syniadau admitted his oversight in a clear update to the post – rather than do some revisionism – is a perfect example. It’s one of the reasons he’s one of the most knowledgeable political bloggers in Wales. It’s much easier to do this as an individual rather than a faceless party website which purports to represent thousands of people.

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