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The New PR Reality and What it Means

Last Sunday, Lyft’s PR team emailed me a link to a 4,000-word article and highlighted the parts that I might find “newsworthy.” It was an interesting Medium essay from co-founder John Zimmer about the future of cities and transportation and Lyft’s role in it.

Dozens of media outlets summarized the article for their readers, without adding any other reporting and often just cutting and pasting the art from John’s piece into their own. A link to the piece stood at the top of the news aggregator site Techmeme for much of the weekend.

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It wasn’t always this way. Companies used to convene press conferences on a very regular basis to brief dozens of reporters, each of whom wrote their own “take.”