I’ve been hit with some tough questions after yesterday’s post about Dan Pearce’s dramatic rescue during a hiking trip gone bad.
I don’t know Dan, but I know he’s a member of the Babble team at Voices. We here at Babble decided to take the story at face value yes, even though he wrote the press release himself.
I reached out to Dan to ask him why, exactly, he chose to send out a press release about the story particularly because it was released before he posted about it to his blog. He said, “There was a lot of weird information starting to go around about it. When I blog about it I want to blog about what I learned and that’s going to take a little while to put together. I hired out the press release after reading an article on Pro Blogger saying its a great way to get the correct information out there.”
Dan is well known for his unconventional (and, according to his own press about his blog, highly effective) marketing and public relations efforts, such as dancing with the homeless, and writing posts that are deliberately controversial (hey, haven’t we all). Still, experiencing something like needing to be rescued off a mountaintop seems like an odd thing to do a press release about; hell, I’ve been blogging eight years and I have yet to issue a single press release on my own behalf, nor do I know any other bloggers that have done so.
Dan says this was his first such press release, and denies it was an attempt to market himself. “I’ve never hired one out to a PR firm before. I didn’t do it for marketing, I did it to clarify the rumors that were starting to build before they could damage my chance to blog about it the way I want to. I think blogging about it will only be more interesting with the press release and I highly doubt very many readers will see anything that comes from the release.”
When I asked him if he thought doing press releases would help his blog, he stated the following: “There have been a handful of parent bloggers who have done their best to give me ongoing bad PR. I’ve hired a firm to put out several releases over time to counteract some of that. Should be interesting. Who would have thought blogging would actually have to deal with such dynamics, huh?”
Most companies utilize press releases for the same reason, and we certainly talk here at MomCrunch about running your blog as a business, so it’s difficult to be critical of his efforts, even if they make me personally uncomfortable. In fact, in some ways, his choice of doing a press release about a life event strikes me as likely the next logical step in the blogger-as-brand model of blogging.
What do you think? Is this going to become standard operating procedure for bloggers?