Friday, January 07, 2011

Alternatives To The Traditional Press Release

Posted by Katie Noonan

It seems that just about every few years a PR doomsayer comes along and declares the death of the traditional press release. Heather Whaling argues, and I agree, that the press release continues to be a great tool for sharing clients' news with their target audiences and the media. What has become apparent with the rise of social media though, is that it's not the only tool.

Whaling shares some great alternatives to the traditional press release- here are a few from her blog on Social Media Today:

The Social Media Release. Social media releases are a Web 2.0 take on the traditional news release. They feature links, video and photos and are perfect for use on Facebook or other social media sites. Whaling recommends PitchEngine, I would add that if you have accounts with Marketwire and PRWeb they also have social media release builders for targeting online audiences.

Calling all bloggers. When you have big news to share Whaling suggests organizing a video meeting and inviting bloggers in addition to traditional media. Instead of pitching traditional media, you might also consider straight pitching to bloggers with whom you have or are trying to cultivate a relationship. Granting exclusivity on breaking news to bloggers whose sites receive lots of hits is a great way to cement relationships and make sure your news is seen by the masses.

DIY on YouTube. Don't wait for members of the media to contact you for a statement from your company on a recent announcement. Instead, consider shooting video of your CEO or a company spokesperson and upload it on YouTube. Then, promote the link on your website, social media pages and share a link with members of the media.

Tweet It. If your company or client has a strong Twitter network, Whaling urges PR pros to consider bypassing the media altogether and crafting a 140-character news brief. If you have reporters who follow you on Twitter, I would also suggest tweeting the news @ them. If it's specific to their beat you just made their life that much easier, if it's not, you run the risk of annoying them a creating a reputation for yourself as a spammer, so beware.

Check out Whaling's full list of press release alternatives.

Photo credit: Wat Blog


Stacey Acevero said...

Hey Katie,
Thanks for the mention of PRWeb in your post. It's nice to know that we are considered less traditional and more advanced when it comes to the press release game, especially because of the social sharing aspects we offer when distributing press releases. Look forward to reading more of your work, you have a great blog! Cheers,
Stacey Acevero, Community Manager @PRWeb

Nick Shin said...

Disclosure: I am the SEM and Social Media Specialist @Marketwire.

Thanks so much for the mention of Marketwire, Katie! Your intro paragraph really nailed it on the head. News distribution should be complimentary to your other PR efforts and it's certainly not the end all be all solution. You've listed several creative social media solutions and the common theme seems to be that developing relationships with the media is a great first step.

Nick Shin @shinng

Amanda W. said...

Hi Stacey,

Thank you for the kind words about our work here at The PR Lawyer. We do use PR Web on occasion for some of our clients at Furia Rubel and we're always on the look out for fresh, alternative ways to get the good news out about our clients. Social media has become another way to engage and connect and we look forward to working more with PR Web in the future.

Amanda Walsh

Amanda W. said...

Hi Nick,

Thanks for your nice comment. At Furia Rubel, we strive to be a valuable resource for the media not just in the traditional newspaper sense, but online as well. With 24/7 connections to the Internet, media outreach has been boosted to a whole new level on blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Tools are needed to effectively do that. We look forward to seeing more from Marketwire in the future!


Amanda Walsh