Whenever I talk about doing traditional press releases, I generally get a blank stare or a look of disbelief.
Typical Responses I get to the notion of press releases and heaven forbid, using a Wire Service like BusinessWire or PR Newswire.
"Who reads news releases?"
"No one is going to just pick up a news release."
"Why can't we just announce what we have to say on the social web and count on others to spread the word?"
"Our fans on Twitter will Tweet this thing up."
"OMG- news releases are so.... Web 1.0"
Here's my belief: when appropriate, news releases matter, have impact and actually work. They are not a substitute for the social web, they are part of your overall communications strategy.
If you are publicly traded, then it's a no-brainer that you have to have traditional news releases for disclosure and compliance issues. And if you are not, I still believe that select, strategic news merits the time and minor expense of a news news release.
1. Writing a news release is more formal and makes you really think through what you are saying and how you want to reflect the written word about your company.
2. Investors, partners, suppliers, and your other publics will still mosey on into your press room to see what's news, how you report your news, and the wording and editorial strategy you take.
3. The written word is very much a part of your overall brand experience. How you write, the tone and choice of words is very much akin to the graphical image you project, the company culture you promote and the quality of customer service you aim for.
4. News releases, if applied correctly, can be searched (and found) on Google. They are also a platform which can easily be re-published and spread by your stakeholders on the social web.
5. A well written and well crafted news release illustrates team work and common vision.
There is more to a news release than just the mechanics of writing and pitching.
Oh, and speaking of pitching, yes, I still do very traditional pitching. And that's a whole other post in its own right.
Here's a hand form you can use to get the press release writing process going.
Any comments on you belief (or disbelief) in using press releases? How do you and your team writing your press releases?
Tony Berkman, CEO of San Antonio-based BlogCatalog and BloggersUnite articulates the role of social media and how his BloggersUnite site helps causes join together through the power of the blogosphere, while remaining political neutral. Kudos to Patricio Espinoza, who is doing a great job of reporting on and more importantly, telling a fair and balanced story about the Mayoral race in our town via his SA4Mayor site.
Calacanis,CEO and President of Mahalo, for umpteen years and admire
not only his approach to entrepreneurship, but the fact that he’s lasted
through good times and bad. I’m on his email newsletter list and admire
his writings and sound advise. He gave me an OK to re-publish a very good post on my San Antonio Startups Blog where you canread here in regards to scenario which is becoming more and more real every day.
I’m serving as the local editor and am
thrilled to be part of the SpringStage network of community catalysts who are
in tune with their local entrepreneurship and startup scenes.
The network is just now launching in early
2009 as a blog network. This is the first step in ensuring that there is a
visible resource in every community for early stage entrepreneurs.
Today, if you’re new to a city and you want
to be involved in the startup scene there, there is no clear cut way to get
involved. Springstage hopes to fix that by identifying and promoting credible
catalysts in each community. David Cohen and Alexander Muse are providing the
infrastructure for those catalysts to begin promoting their location
entrepreneurship scene immediately.
I am looking for content, so pitch me: alan at weinkrantz dot com. I'm just getting this off the ground, so please spread the word.
Identify your goals for the campaign/program before you start pitching.
Build relationships with bloggers well before you pitch them (when practical).
Research bloggers before you pitch them; that includes reading their blogs!
Personalize your pitch.
Offer the bloggers something of value for them and their readers, and not just for your clients.
I also have a few basic rules of engagement, including:
Give the blogger a central repository in which to find content about what you are pitching. It might be your press room, or your own blog where you have press releases and social media content like YouTube videos.
Think in the vein of pitching a journalist by offering an exclusive to the blogger.
Provide the blogger with suggested links of where you want to send his / her readers to.
Debbie Weil Debbie Weil, aka the MonaLisaOfBlogging.com, is a corporate blogging and online communications consultant and the author of the forthcoming "The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right" for Penguin Portfolio (2006).