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PRs: Please don’t send me anything using Newscom

If you’re a public relations professional, you probably use a company to do the broad distribution of your press releases and materials.

One company, Newscom, really, really frustrates me — and I thought I’d lend a bit of insight.

I’m working on a post about a wristband tag that patiences would wear in hospitals. It enables their location to be tracked precisely by WiFi.

I found out about this from a press release emailed to me that features photographic links. So far so good. There’s a picture I’d like to use.

The PR has helpfully included the link for the photo in their release text.

They’re using this absolutely rubbish service, Newscom, to host the imagery though.

I clicked on the supplied URL for the photo:
http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20091014/363009

That takes you to this page:

The photo, as you can see, has got bollocks newscom branding all over it. I suspect this was relevant about 10 years ago when people wanted to control access to ‘official photography’. Hence the watermark. I can’t get the un-watermarked version unless I login.

I have a login. Somewhere. I can’t remember the details. To GET a reminder of my details, I have to email a support address. You know, like being back in 1995 again.

I just don’t have time to arse about.

Newscom, alas, appear to be in the dark ages. Almost every other press release service — RealWire for example — just provide you the images right there and then. You can pick’em up free of watermarks or any other time sapping rubbish and get on with the writing of your post.

I want to point out to every marketing/PR executive reading that if you’re including Newscom as a method of photo delivery for your releases, recipients like me will be getting mightily annoyed every time they want to actually pick something up and write about it.

Meanwhile, dear reader, I’ll be using this image in the post I’m writing:

Yup. That’s the only one I have the rights to use.

Total unmitigated bollocks, isn’t it.

It really is like being back in 1995.

Please either use a proper distribution service — maybe even a ‘social media release’ function, or publish the images on your blog or something like that.

My post on the Ekahau wireless wristband is coming soon… complete with stupidly small photo.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

16 replies on “PRs: Please don’t send me anything using Newscom”

I reckon they've reset all the old passwords anyway. I've not used Newscom for yonks – they tried to use it to push licensed images in the last redesign but most places will have had separate deals for those agencies and the number of people putting out images with releases through went into steep decline. But I know the username/password combo and it doesn't work anymore. I don't think I'll bother emailing support for a new one.

I reckon they've reset all the old passwords anyway. I've not used Newscom for yonks – they tried to use it to push licensed images in the last redesign but most places will have had separate deals for those agencies and the number of people putting out images with releases through went into steep decline. But I know the username/password combo and it doesn't work anymore. I don't think I'll bother emailing support for a new one.

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