Welcome to the first and inaugural blog post on prMac! It is with great excitement I welcome everyone to our new digs. I must confess. This blog has been a long time coming. Over the years, customers have asked me to blog about press releases in general. As it relates to writing, as well as the distribution of, their press communications. And it's about time. This January we celebrated the eight year anniversary of prMac's launch. So I figured I better get started. I only have so much time left on this earth.
I had quite an unusual upstart in marketing. Spanning some 20 odd years, I played drums doing top forty country music. Even with an 8 year stint in the Air Force. Over the years, I cultivated a keen fascination of the very audio equipment we recorded on. I became obsessed with anything and everything about the recording industry. This was long before there was the internet, so I read every periodical that I could get my hands on.
And you might wonder. What on earth does music have to do with marketing? As it turns out, all that audio stuff didn't go to waste. After I got out of the military, I was lucky enough to land a job working as a recording tech at a leading ad firm. It was here that the real world met advertising, marketing and everything that goes with it. I remember those days just like it was yesterday. I worked during the day cutting donuts and lead-ins while playing music at night. I even remember my circa 1979 Ford Pinto Station Wagon (yup, a real chick magnet).
After that learning experience, I managed to cobble together enough financing to start up my own company. Called Gigbag, it was a want-ads paper for musicians. If you wanted to sell your guitar, rent that great PA system, and more, Gigbag was the place to go. A point I wish to highlight is the equipment available of the day.
We used a hot-rodded Macintosh upgraded with an SE-30 motherboard. Our Apple Scanner was upgraded with an Abaton 8-bit motherboard. Proofs were printed on a 11x17 printer with Adobe Postscript emulation. We designed all the commercial ad panels from scratch and used a FileMaker Pro database that pulled all the want ads directly into Aldus Pagemaker. Man, I thought I was high on the hog! Those were the days.
By then, I was hooked. So it is no wonder, I have been a huge Mac evangelist for as long as I can remember. After the sale of Gigbag, I continued to play music. Yet over the years became more involved in graphic design and pre-press work. I was particularly interested in how cool it was to automate many of those processes. One thing leads to another. In early 1999, I started AppleScript.net, later to become MacScripter.net.
MacScripter might have become all things scripting. But there was one significant that stood out. I realized just how press release challenged many developers were. And most especially, just how hard it was to get published. Journalists often complained at how difficult many of those releases were to read.
I just felt that something had to be done about the myriad of roadblocks that many developers faced, and most especially what appeared to be a disconnect that so plagued our industry. prMac was the first wire service that was specifically niched in the Apple and Mac (and later iOS) markets. What prMac immediately brought to the table were "template-able" press releases, ensuring that everyone followed a very specific and narrowly defined format. The entire goal was to make it easier for members of the press to cover a developer's products and services.
The philosophy has always been no-nonsense, using commonsense methods. Not from some "talking head" with lips on their forehead. In this monthly blog, I will be sharing advice about the PR industry, as well as offering tips and tricks for navigating the rules of the road. I also anticipate some influential names who will share their own experiences, and what they look for in a press release. To be sure, this is no one way street. My desire is to have readership drive how things move forward, embracing your feedback and open suggestions for new topics.