Robert Scoble seems to have the impression that P.R. people provide Mike Arrington with breaking news on a regular basis. When it comes to product reviews he may be right. The only reason for this? Mike doesn’t have aggressive competition. That’s the difference between new media and old media and under Scoble’s description TechCrunch is becoming old media.
Prior to new media, newspapers were simply handed “breaking stories” by P.R. representatives. That’s no longer the case. For example, say that you are friends with the CEO of a large company and you run your own media company. If you talk to that person on a regular basis, chances are they are going to give you the story before anybody else. Breaking news now comes from (and may have always come from) building strong relationships with your sources. Additionally, investigative reporting helps to provide breaking news as well.
If you want to win in the new media landscape you better be aggressive. Rather than fighting for access to the P.R. representatives, you should be fighting for access to other employees within the organization. It sounds like some of these new media people have become spoiled with “access” to higher quality press releases. They are still press releases though. The real juicy scoops don’t come from building relationships with the communications department, it comes from knowing other people in the company. The bottom line here is that building relationships with people is going to beat out any form of informal public relations. It’s as simple as that. A combination of intelligence and aggresion will put you on top.