Is a blog as good as a press release?

Former Merrill Lynch and Oppenheimer analyst Henry Blodget of Internet Outsider – which is where Henry pretends to still be an analyst, even though his legal settlement with Eliot Spitzer prevents him from actually becoming one again – has posted a long rant about Google announcing a proposed settlement in a “click fraud” case. Among other things, he seems upset that the search company disseminated this info by posting something on the official Google blog. Here’s what he says:

“To make matters worse, the company released its “statement” about the settlement on its blog. A $90 million payout on a critical issue at the forefront of every Google observer’s mind… and the company has an anonymous associate general counsel type up an “update” on a freaking blog. Google needs some new PR people, and it needs them now.”

Anyone agree with that? I’m not sure I do. I may not believe that the traditional press release is dead, but I would agree with Steve Rubel that blogs are serving the same function for many companies – and rightly so. Why shouldn’t Google put out news by posting something to the blog? I assume the company is still complying with disclosure in other ways, such as filing to various securities-related newswires and so on. And smart reports for wire services are watching the Google blog and filing stories about what they put there.

Want to keep up with Google’s statements on something? Subscribe to their RSS feed. I’m not sure why Henry thinks this is such a huge deal, unless it’s that blogs are somehow a joke and “real” companies do things the old-fashioned way, by sending out press releases and email spam and so on. How is posting on a blog any different than putting a press release on your website? Plenty of companies do that and no one complains.

Update:

Henry has expanded on why this bothered him. Still don’t see it, Hank.

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