Traditionally, official press releases issued from the offices of high public officials carry some imprimatur of solemnity and seriousness. While one realizes at some level that they’re ultimately just a way of the official in question to communicate with the media and the public, the releases still typically come with (and convey) an air of officialdom — i.e. that they are public documents issued by the public official in his or her official government capacity.
With this as background, check out a couple of recent “press releases” from Gov. Pat McCrory that sound and look more like dashed-off blog posts.
On Tuesday of this week, the Governor of North Carolina issued an official press release that was simply a reprinted Wall Street Journal editorial about the evils of extended unemployment benefits. It even included the social media abbreviation “ICYMI” in the headline – as in “ICYMI: Wall Street Journal: How to Keep Workers Unemployed.”
Then, just yesterday, the Governor issued another “official” press release. It said the following:
Governor McCrory Speaks Out on Election Reform Ruling
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 919-814-2100
Thursday, December 12, 2013 email@example.com
Raleigh, N.C.– A ruling from a federal district court judge in Winston-Salem today set a trial for July 2015 on challenges to North Carolina’s election reform law.
Governor Pat McCrory released the following statement:
“It’s ironic that a photo ID was required to gain entry for today’s hearing in a Federal Court Building. This presents the strongest case yet that requiring a photo ID to vote is common sense, even for Washington lawyers and liberal activists – and this argument will be upheld regardless of the trial date.”
Given this new approach, it probably won’t be long before the Guv’s official press releases are reduced to random political thoughts — perhaps even formatted as tweets. Stay tuned.