Another extended press release disguised as a speech - and does it matter?

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Hardly ten days on from seeing David Cameron reading an extended press release on Europe as if it were 'a speech' to an audience (HERE) and we have Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. doing much the same thing at the offices of JP Morgan in Bournemouth earlier today.

As with the PM's speech, the absence of any coughing, sneezing or applause left me wondering whether there was an audience there at all and whether this is yet another example of a politician reading out a long-winded press release as if it were a speech.

So what?
My blog on this after Cameron's Europe speech prompted an interesting comment on Twitter from speechwriter Sam Coates (@SamuelCoates):

"re: Cameron speech lacking non-media audience, are you in danger of being too purist? Better a speech than press conf/release?"

To which I admitted that perhaps I was being rather too purist and asked "but are you conceding that it was a press release?"

"No" he tweeted "a well-articulated speech seen live by many not in the room. But admittedly not one that had to worry about claptraps etc!"

Speeches as press releases - and does it matter?
From this, it seems that Mr Coates is rather more relaxed about this trend than I am - which gets me wondering whether my unease about politicians reading out what are, in effect, extended press releases to non-partisan audiences is a further reflection of my advanced years (and the relative youthfulness of Mr Coates).

As I asked in my last blog on the subject, "are we going to have to put up with more and more such non-speeches as the stock-in-trade of contemporary political communication?" - to which I'd add "does it matter?"

I'd be glad to hear what others think...


Unknown said...

I would have really liked to have gone along to hear this speech as I live in Bournemouth, but there was no opportunity.

The politicians seem to have decided that a message needs to be delivered directly to camera or as a text, rather than an emotional or symbolic experience.

They are seeking to tell, rather than persuade.

They're laughed at and ignored, so it's their problem.

suzana martin said...

The News release should be written as you want it to appear in a news story. And remember this: most journalists are very busy, and don't have time to research your company's big announcement, so much of what you write for your News release will be what the journalists use in their writeup of your big event. Whatever you want them to say, this is where you put it.

Hamish MacPherson said...

I think it does matter as it seems to indicate a move away from democracy. At least the 'old fashioned' speech allowed for some semblance of dialogue. These tightly stage managed affairs are just as one way as a press release.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

The Press release should be written as you want it to appear in a press story. for that reason you can use this service Press release