The press release isn’t dead, nor has the new solution been found…yet

Lots of chatter about social media and press releases over the weekend here.  I’ll admit right away that I haven’t read all of the posts, I think I have the gist though.  Regardless, I’m going to throw my thoughts into the fray.  Mondays are good days for reflection, I think.

Firstly, I don’t think the press release is dead.  There are way too many good applications.  There are SEC requirements for big companies.  The news wires (AP, Reuters, etc) use them from news fodder.  Small companies can get a good release pretty inexpensively.  And as much as they are derided, bloggers still cite them as primary source material.

Now what about social media and the press release?  I don’t think the right solution has been found.  I don’t think Scoble is right that a little video demo or something is enough.  There seems to be more debate on whether social media releases are bollocks or not than offering solutions.  Shel Holtz, I think, has a good take on the issue.  Really the format of the press release isn’t bad, it’s badly written press releases that are the problem (I think we can all agree on that).  Where does social media fit in?  I took at look at one of Edelman’s releases created with their new tool.  Frankly I just didn’t like it.  It looked cluttered and was hard to skim.  Maybe I’m just used to the old-fashioned release.  What I see, though, is that PR companies and wire services aren’t tapping into what social media can do best.  Summarizing, context, linking.  Bloggers are being relied on to do this job, but what this often results in is bloggers being sent press releases "for consideration" to blog.  I don’t think this works either.  Too many, too much chaff, too little wheat.

Where do we go from here?  It is a good idea for press releases to include information like permalinks and links to the relevant company sites/blogs.  Digg and  I don’t think so.  Video demos are great, where applicable, but those should be in concert with a release and on the company’s blog.  The next step is then for PR companies to find a way to do some of the work themselves and give bloggers real blog fodder and not relying on us to get to the meat of a release.

Is that out there yet, I don’t think so.  Maybe soon, though.

Load of links on this discussion:

Tags: , social media release, new PR


  1. Great Post here Jim — I really like the idea of links into a press release. Thanks!

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