“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Tom Foremski, Silicon Valley Watcher”

Once again, it’s time for our regular Thursday feature, “3Q’s in 3 Min.” In the spirit of citizen journalism, SocialTNT puts bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters and PR practitioners on the future of media .

This week, Silicon Valley Watcher‘s Tom Foremski discusses the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, the changing media landscape, and the state of PR in the new ecosystem. For those two of you not familiar with Tom, he was the first (on record) to call for the end of the traditional press release.

More about Tom and the video after the jump…

Tom’s blog post from February 27, 2006, entitled “Die Press Release! Die! Die! Die!” called for a deconstructed press release to include these elements:

  • a brief description of the key elements of the story
  • quotes from CEO, C-Level spokespeople, customers, and analysts
  • financial data
  • links to other news stories or references

His sentiments were echoed through the community, inspiring Todd Defren to post a template for a Social Media News Release (SMNR) on May 23, 2006. (Rest of the history of the SMNR can be found here.)

Tom moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1984 and founded the international news agency, West Coast News. Fifteen years later, in 1999, Tom joined the Financial Times as a US Technology Correspondent and Columnist. In 2004, Tom jumped the print ship to try his hand at blogging full time. According to compete.com, Tom’s Silicon Valley Watcher received roughly 18,000 unique visitors in the month of August. Besides calling for the death of the press release, Tom is also notorious for uncovering the real life identity of LonelyGirl15’s Jessica Rose.

I had the opportunity to meet with Tom in his San Francisco flat earlier this week. Before the on-camera interview, we sat in Tom’s living room and chatted a little about recent industry news. A book case full of art books lines one wall, its shelves populated by miniature robots ranging from the 1950’s to a recent purchase from Kid Robot. On the top shelf sits a pair of vintage dioramas with scenes from the comic book Superman and some Doctor Who figurines. Children’s art and family pictures are scattered throughout the room, but my eye is drawn to a brightly colored poster hanging above the bookcase promoting The Haight-Ashbury Street Festival. Tom says he knows the artist personally–not surprising since he once published the neighborhood newspaper for the famous SF neighborhood.

Fun Facts About Tom:

After our warm-up chat, we go outside to Tom’s backyard patio for the shoot. Please forgive the shakiness of the camera. I promise to have a tri-pod soon. At SocialTNT, we like to go above expectations; instead of three questions, this week’s video features a whopping FOUR questions! The fourth question is the meatiest!

Check it out:

Do you agree with Tom? Is PR really in a state where change is an added bonus, not a necessity? Will PR ever be forced to evolve? If so, when?

Please feel free to comment on these questions or anything else Tom touched on in the remarks below.

Once again, thank you Tom for taking the time to share your insight with the SocialTNT audience!

Tomorrow, we continue with Part 2 of yesterday’s post,”It’s a Conversation, Stupid!”

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, SMNR, Video Interview

6 responses to ““3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Tom Foremski, Silicon Valley Watcher”

  1. I briefly met and spoke with Tom right after the “future of the news release” session at the most recent NewComm Forum in Vegas. He’s a great guy and very smart. In large part, he’s right: PR, as it is now and has been for some time, will continue chugging right along.

    For those of us who are smart about social media and the like, it’s an added bonus (a big one, I’d argue, but still just a bonus, for the most part). However, I think that stable ground of “the way it’s always been” will slide out from under everyone else rather quickly. So don’t treat it as “just a bonus.” Start learning. Quickly. From people like Tom, and Todd Defren, and Steve Rubel, and Neville Hobson, and Shel Holtz.

    I like where you’re going with this blog, Chris. Keep it up.

  2. Chris, great stuff. Tom is definitely on the mark, although I think there are some really talented PR people shaking things up so that the entire industry won’t necessarily take a large fall, rather they will evolve into a dramatically different area. Mike is right, if you aren’t learning this stuff quickly you are going to be gone very soon.


  3. Pingback: Death of PR II

  4. Mike, you are absolutely right. I have to thank 100% the people in the industry who are leading the change. Reading their blogs helped open me up to a world beyond the press release.

    It would be interesting, to me, to see how industries outside of tech are approaching the the changing PR practices.

  5. Pingback: “Preview: NewComm Forum 2008″ « socialTNT

  6. Pingback: “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: The Mid-Season Clip Show” « socialTNT

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