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?
Buy a local circuit. In fact, buy the least expensive local circuit you can buy.
It will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars depending on the scope and reach you are going for.
2. Going global? If you need to reach the UK, buy the metro London only circuit. In general, try to buy capital cities only. You'll get the local translation and major media outlets where they tend to be located.
3. Is this really newsworthy? Ask yourself if what you are about to announce is really newsworthy, or in need of compliance. If not, reduce the number of press releases you issue, but don't kill the outreach. If you have five releases scheduled through the end of the year, pace them out a bit more, consolidate your news and reduce the number to three.
You stay on the radar. You are visible on the search engines. You communicate to your publics.
Yes, Wire Services Are Effective and Worth the Money
I highly recommend wire services. Even in times of budget cuts. The main thing is that you need to get on to the search engines in ways that only the major wire services can get you on.
My Robot Creative pal, Lara August, called me this morning to have breakfast, but I couldn't do it because of another meeting.
Then, I hopped over to see PodCast Ready's Dean McCall for another meeting.
Then, my stomach starts growling and I decide to hop over to Olmos Pharmacy for lunch.
En route down US 281, I am driving by the airport, and see Air Force One taking off.
Arriving to the Pharmacy 20 minutes later, proprietor, Betty Garza, informs me that our fearless leader of the free world, Secret Service in tow, stopped by and had a chocolate malt with First Lady, Laura Bush.
I guess when you are the President of the U.S., you can pretty much order up anything you want.
So it really says quite a bit about Betty's place, where she's run a tight ship for 35 years.
Over the last 3 years, I've been doing lots of breakfast meetings, lots of interviews, and lots of posts at the Pharmacy.
It's my office away from my office and serves as the "official" office of my two other blogs.
Sorry I missed you, Mr. President.
And thumbs up to Betty for having Mr. Bush pick her place as the place in town (or the world) for a real home made malt.
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).