The New Digital Press Release

So who are today’s most effective communicators in business?  Yesterday I might have answered with corporate public relations (PR) when they send our their press release over the wire.  Today though, we have bloggers updating posts and getting thousands or tens of thousands of views in a day.   If you simply changed the title from blogger to corporate PR could you get the same effect?

What’s the value of the traditional press release today?  Press releases that are done in the same fashion as they were 5 years ago are a waste of time and precious resource.  People don’t read that way anymore, there are way too many other releases (blogs) that compete for the same timeshare and press releases that are built for the wire or for the corporate press page on the website will never get seen again.

There are many people beginning to catch on to today’s journalistic requirements and only a handful who started the revolution as much as 4 years ago (Todd Defren, Shift Communictions, has this initial social media press release template available).  And the discussion today has shifted a bit further into push vs. pull styles for PR.  The press release of today is more than a spiffed up template though.  The voice of the release is different, the tone, the content, the target and the media by which to express it is different.  Here are some points to consider in the new digital press release:

  1. concise content – It’s not about crafting a story as it is about feeding quality content
  2. no buzzword bingo – content has to be in the language of the audience not the made up language of the company
  3. Targeted to audiences – much like advanced websites provide me content related to my previous viewing and digital ads can be served up ad hoc in seconds, press releases need to have a message targeted to specific audiences.  It’ possible you write 3 intros to the same release with different angles of the content based on the audience who is viewing it.
  4. multi-media – text is boring, video is cool.  Include images, podcasts, videos, schematics, etc to enhance the content.  I believe we are close to having press releases taking the form of all video very soon (no text).
  5. Make it shareable (referring to point #2, see usually I would say extensible) – provide a 140 character summary and shortened URL on the release, add a Facebook “Like” button, create a focused posterous page, etc.

Today’s world is challenging enough that all parts of the orgnaization need to be operating seemlessly.  Having effective press releases is certainly one of those important pieces of the overall pie.  For proper attribute on the topic, I want to give props to Cyndee Woolley for the idea of this topic and for teeing up this week’s moderator Shel Holtz.  Shel wrote the book on corporate conversations (well five of them actually) and has been speaking and writing on the topic for more than a decade.  Shel will lead the discussion with the following questions:

Topic: The New Digital Press Release

Q1:  What value do you see to a social media news release or a social media

Q2: Are there still uses for the traditional news release?

Q3:  How do you combine traditional media relations with social media?

Please join us in the conversation on Tuesday 6/22  noon Eastern by following #sm65 on twitter or by going to our LIVE page at

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One Response to The New Digital Press Release

  1. Pingback: Live Twitter Chats. A Perusal for PR Pros « Adam P. Coulter: Conduit for Young Communicators

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