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Re: Press Release Party

From: Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>
To: Robert Treat <xzilla(at)users(dot)sourceforge(dot)net>,Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>,"Marc G(dot) Fournier" <scrappy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Cc: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Press Release Party
Date: 2004-04-24 15:45:21
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-advocacy

>I think Josh can
> take the discussion about a press release off-list in order to get
> something of quality put together and then post that for public review
> before sending it out (like someone saying I want to code feature x,
> getting a few guys to help him on it, and then posting the results to
> patches before it gets included).  Do you see any problems with that?

We can do that for *this* particular release, as it happens, mostly becuase 
this news has been leaked already.   But that won't necessarily be true with 
all, or even most, releases -- most will require being off-list until they 
are sent out to PRWeb.

I think, though, that there are a few issues here, one of which is that press 
releases are *not* like patches.  A patch gets held back, sometimes 
indefinitely, if it's not sufficient quality.   A press release often needs 
to go out by a specific date, whether or not it's perfect -- the target is 
producing the best release that can go out on that date, rather than meeting 
a particular standard.   News which is not timely is not news at all.

As a result, people who decide not to help or give feedback during writing the 
release, but reserve the right to criticize it the day it's supposed to go 
out, make it very frustrating and difficult for people trying to generate PR 
for the project to get anything done.    Not that the same isn't true of 
patches, but that's not my area of responsibility.

Certainly I'm not going to start running press releases past the Hackers list.   
That's what this list is for.   And, Peter, all PR *does* get run past Core 
-- often including PR by external companies which focuses on PostgreSQL.

As to why releases need to be keep off-line?   As part of a successful PR 
campaign for any organization, you cultivate personal relationships with 
individual reporters.   This relationship usually includes feeding them news 
a little bit ahead of the wire, and in return you get better coverage for 
that news.   But, if the release is available on a public mailing list with 
public archives days before it's released, you lose all control over who gets 
what when.   

The other reason is that releases, and quotes, can get pulled by external 
parties at the last minute.    If the release text has already appeared on a 
public mailing list, it's all too possible that some news source would have 
already grabbed it and posted it somewhere.   The results would range from 
embarassing to finding ourselves in court.

Josh Berkus
Aglio Database Solutions
San Francisco

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