You can always ride on one safe prediction: forecasting something that already happened.

That’s the case with vendor press releases.  You know what those are, right?  Those nauseatingly formulaic proclamations by vendors: “The First and Only Global Leader with Revolutionary, Market Transforming” blah blah blah.

Actually they used to work.  At Tempworks we were always careful not to use the superlative language so common especially among technology vendors, but we did use them.  They used to attract quite a few eye-balls and internally they went over well too.

If our dev team worked hard on a new product, it was a reward to them to see their work deservedly proclaimed as news.  We’d reuse the releases by sending them by email or newsletter to customers as well.

But each year since say 2004 I’ve noticed them having less and less of an effect although even into 2008 I could still count on getting a thousand or so page views resulting in 100 website hits.  But now the whole process is broken.  You might still find one of our press-releases prominently displayed on Google (one is there now), but it was from almost a year ago having somehow got re-indexed with some faulty page-ranking algorithm.

Why predict the death for 2010?   It could be that finally there are no journalists left to read the damn things.  Given the financial state of most newspapers, it’s hard to blame them for cutting back on such nonsense.

Google’s attention is elsewhere as well.  Google may still have a news link associated with every search, but there is this little service called Twitter that came on the scene and redefined the news space.  Now Google is aflutter with something called “realtime search” – the inclusion of Tweets nested in with standard results.

Poor press releases, unloved even unto death.  The bane of journalist and reader alike.

[UPDATE: three months later: this sounded so good when I wrote it...the Tempworks PR department continues to put them out albeit in a stronger, more object form, and the results have been better than what I expected.  Let's see how much this changes as the year progresses.]

Tags: TempWorks, Marketing, Press Releases, Industry