The traditional press release gets a makeover to appeal to the newest online media outlets.
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In the past few months, there’s been a buzz swirling in the PR industry about proposed changes to the format of the news release. The premise for the changes is that while the current format provides readers with the basic information regarding a company’s news, it doesn’t fully leverage the latest wave of social media technologies.
Commonly referred to as Web 2.0, the newest breed of internet-based services allows people to collaborate and share information online, using tools such as blogs, tags and user-generated content. Forward-thinkers in the PR community are identifying opportunities to leverage such technologies to enhance the exchange of information and spread your company’s messages to even more diverse audiences, while continuing to use the proven systems and techniques, like newswire distribution and media targeting, that have been successful over the past 50 years.
The format of the new social media news release steps well away from the traditional, text-focused news release. It’s designed so that anyone accessing it–whether a journalist, a potential customer or a curious onlooker–can quickly find and interact with its content.
The social media template is designed to contain these items:
- A brief description of the news announcement
- Quotes from the CEO or other execs, customers and analysts, if applicable
- Photo/video attachments, or links to web pages that host these items
- Links inside the release copy to background information, and relevant links to other news stories or reference sources
- Digital tags (used to link to web tools such as Del.icio.us and Digg)
- RSS Feed links
- Links to podcasts and MP3 files, graphics and video
The social media release is especially beneficial to reporters and bloggers because information is presented in a style that enables them to select the type and level of information they desire–from detailed background information on the company and quotes from senior executives to graphics and photos.