Archive for the ‘newswire’ Category

If I’m gonna launch this blog with a big post, might as well not tiptoe around much of the buzz I hear at every event I attend or presentation I give.

The Social Media Press Release is bullcrap. Allegedly the SMPR evolved out of Tom Foremski’s “Die! Press Release! Die! Die! Die!” post where he lambasted the press release in its current form. Enter the ever-clever Todd Defren with his template.

While including links to social networks and deconstructing the press release into bullet points is a best-practice, it’s still a press release… meaning: DOA, according to Foremski.

The press release used to serve one function: Deliver news from an organization to the media and markets as quickly, effectively and efficiently as possible. Over the last 15 years, the purpose of the press release has changed dramatically. From needing to meet disclosure (after all, public companies issue most of the press releases every day), to wanting to reach consumers directly; the press release has become a message for everyone. The true genesis of conversation. In fact, the press release is still a very valued tool among thousands of journalists worldwide that expect and require language directly from the company. Journalists will use the content, sometimes verbatim, in composing their coverage. The vehicle itself won’t garner coverage. Bullet points and isolated quotes won’t make a penguin fly. It’s the content that matters most. Whether the vehicle has been abused by some, if not all at some point, is also not the question.

Let’s put everything in perspective. The legs a press release has are only as long as its legs.You cannot waive a magic wand at an announcement and expect stellar coverage. You cannot put lipstick on a pig. But lipstick on a beautyqueen can win you a pageant.

It all starts with proper and aggressive counseling to our clients. Our clients should not be convinced that Marketers and Advertisers own ‘Social Media.’ ‘Social Media’ by its essence is conversation between at least two parties. Whereever there is conversation, exit Marketing and Advertising. They are in the business of push, or SPAM, really. Whether it be on TV, print, radio or billboards, they target you where you are and where you are likely not engaged (let alone their target audience). When PR practitioners engage in SPAM is where our discipline loses credibility.

Every press release, for the most part, is an opt-in endeavor. Whether they enter by search, ticker symbol, or via a web destination, Pubilc Relations professionals should be able to tell you exactly how many people clicked the link, how they navigated through the site, when and where there was a spike in traffic, and how many journalists viewed the announcement. When PR Newswire gives statistics back to clients, we don’t fudge or mislead in any way. Though those numbers don’t compete with cirulation and impression numbers given to you by advertisers and other vendors, our numbers are exact and measurable. Further, those people are very often influencers that rely on us to provide quality and breaking news from credible sources.

If there’s one thing you take away from this post: Concentrate on the horse then the cart. When it’s time to look into carts, don’t pinch pennies there … because that’s what takes you to the finish line.

UPDATE: Obscene language has been removed so as not to offend the squeamish.
Point of Clarification: I do believe vehemently that all assets, if they help tell your story, should be included with a press release whether it’s embedded video, a powerpoint presentation, excel file or logo. The term and the solution have become distractions.

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