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Newsletter shakes up high-tech PR industry.

Jeffrey Tarter's Soft*letter, "Trends & Strategies in Software Publishing," in October ran a major story on The Decline and Fall of Public Relations:

"From the beginning, technology marketers have enjoyed a love affair with public relations. PR (according to popular wisdom) gets a buzz going, it generates sales leads, it helps tiny companies compete on shoestring budgets. In turn, the industry's passion for publicity has given high-tech spinmeisters serious celebrity status....

"Trouble is, there are signs that high-tech public relations has become a victim of its own success. As budgets get fatter, the result is a glut of unread news releases and an acute shortage of talent and experience. Worse, the collapse in PR quality has begun to alienate much of the press and analyst community--the so-called 'influencers' who provide media visibility and help build company reputations."

Tarter took a poll of several hundred media colleagues, and 91 reporters, editors and analysts also shared specific complaints about the PR process.

The report sent proverbial shock waves through the industry. Jack O' Dwyer's Newsletter, "The Inside News of Public Relations," reported a month later, "High-tech PR people we talked to about the criticism of PR pros that appeared in Soft* Letter are taking these criticisms very seriously."

Just how seriously is also a testament to Tarter's reputation as a newsletter editor covering and commenting on the personal computer industry since 1983. Described as "quietly powerful" by Marketing Computers, he has twice been named "best industry analyst" by the Software Publishers Assn. and is widely quoted in the business and trade press.

Appropriately enough, his web site, www.softletter.com, is a model of online publishing. Visit it and link to the newsletter report on the PR industry.

The site also carries eight pages of impressive testimonials from software industry journalists and executives. For example, Michael Murphy, editor-publisher of California Technology Stock Letter, describes Tarter's newsletter as "the first place I turn for solid facts and intelligent opinions on the ever-changing software industry."
COPYRIGHT 1999 The Newsletter on Newsletters LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Nov 30, 1999
Words:331
Previous Article:Forbes enters newsletter field with tech titles.
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