How to Write a Press Release In The Internet Age
As a blogger and freelance journalist, I receive several to many press releases a day, promoting all sorts of products, web sites and events. As a marketing consultant, I write press releases for my clients and struggle with the time and energy that goes into creating something which, well… often isn’t read.
Silicon Valley Watcher, Tom Foremski puts it nicely:
Press releases are nearly useless. They typically start with a tremendous amount of top-spin, they contain pat-on-the-back phrases and meaningless quotes…
Press releases are created by committees, edited by lawyers, and then sent out at great expense through Businesswire or PRnewswire to reach the digital and physical trash bins of tens of thousands of journalists.
As a blogger who struggles with extracting something resembling meaningful information from press releases and hunting down additional sources for links, I would welcome a little more user friendly release.
As a consumer tired of reading the exact same thing on every news source, I’d welcome giving journalists and bloggers the time to really investigate the story rather than spending their time finding images and links… then we just might have some interesting information!
(If you want an example of how news sources information verbatim, take a look at this story I did for our sister blog, Eco Child’s Play. I seem to be the only writer who actually asked Toys R Us where these new Eco toys were made (China). Everyone else spent so much time hunting down images and links they had little time to look a little deeper into the story.)
Eco-businesses in particular, as they often have to explain in some detail the technical aspects of the business and frequently rely on social media to get the message out, need to be concerned with crafting an internet friendly release.
Well, it turns out, the folks at Shift Media have devised a new template that revolutionizes the way press releases are written.
In a podcast with Paul Dunay posted at MarketingProfs’ Daily Fix blog, SHIFT principal Todd Defern explains the new template’s purpose:
“Ultimately is simply a way to both Web-ify the content that you put in a news release, and also, ideally, to socialize it. So it’s about adding multimedia, making sure these things are more findable that they’ve ever been before in the age of Google, but also giving some community and context aspects to it as well. Letting people potentially comment on the news, or take and remix aspects of the news and put it on their own blog… and discuss it and find it among their own friends.”
It’s about time!
Photo courtesy: Standford.edu www.stanford.edu