Fire Crisis: PRNewswire COO Talks to PRNewser; Muslims Pray for Rain
October 24, 2007
We spoke to PRNewswire Chief Operating Officer Dave Armon this morning to get his take on how experts and sources are getting their messages out during the California fires, and how his company is dealing with the influx of press releases and alerts.
Armon pointed out similarities to 9/11 both in the media cycle, and within his company. “This hit home to us. During 9/11 we had to evacuate from Harborside (PRNewswire’s office in Jersey City, NJ), and now we have staffers in our San Diego offices leaving town”.
The company is moving quickly to adjust and serve their clients. PRNewswire suspended fees for releases and alerts related to the fires, and plans to open up photo distribution later today. Since 9/11, PRNewswire staffed a secure office in Albuquerque with 150 editors at the ready. “We can handle this, even during earnings season,” Armon continued.
Armon explained the need for releases when government agency websites are overloaded, and pointed us to the more interesting releases that range from useful to entrepreneurial, though he said they have turned away many press releases deemed “blatantly commercial”:
- Statements by Congressman Jerry Lewis and NM Governor Bill Richardson
- Many offers from charities, offers for expert commentary
- A number of Red Cross releases, including one announcing a benefit concert this Friday in Hollywood
- Brown Dog Foundation offers assistance to pet owners
- Woodstock Pizza offers to “Fight Fires with Pizza“
- Nixon Library remains open (phew!)
- Muslims Urge Prayers for Rain (PRNewser is not sure about press pickup on this one, though oddly touching)
- Anna’s Linens chain closes seven stores (this one was covered by local media)