Thursday, March 16, 2006

Stay Hoaxy, iNewswire.com

There were two strange stories this week about people using a free "newswire" service called iNewswire.com to distribute bogus news. One was that Will Ferrell died. Which is both false and fortunate for me in providing a relevant reason to post a picture of my favorite fictional journalist on this blog.

In another hoax, a 16-year-old Google fan was able to get a fake press release announcing his hiring by the search engine onto Google News.

iNewswire.com was booted as a source for Google News on Wednesday. But PRWeb.com, another free service for which anyone could theoretically enroll (around since 1997), still gets its releases into the Google News Search engine. Its website notes that editors review all releases prior to distribution. They might be able to catch obvious hoaxes and hate speech, but I somehow doubt they're calling every company to verify facts.

Supposedly, real PR firms use PRWeb. I noticed a few agencies I know on the list of "Platinum Members," but I don't know if they actually use it in lieu of BusinessWire/PR Newswire/MarketWire (the three largest pay services) or if their listings are mostly to advertise to an audience of likely PR-newbies. With other 'firms' like "Hippie Chick Twang - Author-Recording Artist-Songwriter-Media Services," it's not exactly a Who's Who list.

Interested in comments from anyone who has found real value in a free wire service.

1 Comments:

  • Hello from Hippie Chick Twang, a "not exactly who's who" agency in the list of P.R. firms at P.R. Web. This company was formed by a thirty year veteran of broadcast media who was constantly pitched poorly written and half-cocked press information from name agencies...and an award winning artist who'd hired a plethora of name agencies who did little more than get their own names in the news. We have a NYT Bestseller among our clients, a multi-million dollar health company, award winning songwriters, and several recording artists. We cater to high end clients and budget clients with the same care. We want them to get results. PRWeb has been an amazing source for us, and though we are not a name in the media field according to the poster of this blog, our name DID stand out enough for a mention. Could be...we're doing our job.

    Devon O'Day/Hippie Chick Twang

    By Blogger Devon, at 11:11 PM  

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