Excellent post. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, blog comments and all sorts of other electronic communication has blurred the idea of publishing. We’re all publishers now, if you think about it. On the Internet, a blog post from a disgruntled staffer has the same “weight” as an agency press release. They are both bits of content in the ether and it’s up to readers to assign a value to them.
Which is why agencies can’t suppress communications. If you’re not out there with your information, other people will be glad to supply theirs.
What’s required are content management systems that allow ordinary staffers to write, edit and approve updates in a timely manner. WordPress and Drupal are both excellent choices, allowing reviews and approval to occur before an item is published.
But the most important element is the human one. You need qualified editors who know your agency. They know the language to use, the hot-button topics and, most importantly, the subjects to avoid. All communication should come through them.
Publishing is serious business, with the power to make or break agencies. It deserves more respect.