Today AOL announced that it has acquired TechCrunch, the popular technology blog created by Michael Arrington. The funny thing, is that the announcement (which was posted on TechCrunch) was the last thing you’d ever expect to appear on TechCrunch.
Instead of a blog post about the acquisition or a video about the announcement, TechCrunch posted…a press release.
Yes, this is the same blog that would love to see certain words banned from press releases, and often criticizes PR people. Here is an example:
On August 1, 2009 Robin Wauters wrote,
“Emphasizing the strengths of the company you’re pitching is obviously a good thing. But does anyone realize how meaningless these terms become when they are followed up by something so blatantly untrue or tied to a small niche that it’s just painful to read? I’m specifically thinking about press releases that commence with something like “Initech, the largest manufacturer of red staplers engraved with our company logo, has just won the Buzo Award for the most uncreative use of the word ‘largest’ in the history of mankind.” Handle these words with care.”
Part of the first paragraph in the acquisition release reads,
“TechCrunch and its associated properties and conferences will join the AOL Technology Network while retaining their editorial independence, further bolstering AOL’s position as one of the world’s leading providers of high-quality, tech-oriented content. The announcement will be made on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, CA.”
If you read through the entire press release, you’ll see that it is filled with words and terms that Wauters would like to see banned from releases.
While I’m tempted to think that AOL insisted on issuing a press release, I’m shocked that TechCrunch would go along with this, instead of writing an actual blog post or posting a video. Posting a press release verbatim is against the very nature of TechCrunch’s approach and it shows that TechCrunch and AOL are clearly not on the same page when it comes to media.
If this is a sign of things to come for TechCrunch, then it’s going to lose a lot of readers.