Right now the battle (such as it is) in the PR world is between the “Social Media Release” and the boring, text-only, narrative and puffed-up “Traditional News Release.”
It’s the wrong battle to obsess over.
First off, the Social Media Release will win-out over the Traditional version. I’m not just saying that cuz I invented the Social Media Release, it’s simply a matter of evolution.
As the multimedia Web and Social Media grow in importance, the SMR format will become more popular. And with a recent Nielsen study suggesting that Social Media is a bigger driver of Web traffic than EMAIL or SEARCH — well, c’mon. The SMR will eventually win out.
Still, there are other dynamics at work. I foresee a fork in the road of the News Release’s evolution.
Down one path? The SMR. Services like Pitchengine are doing a superior job of atomizing the press release elements so that readers can find, use and share them (or bits of them, e.g., the “twitpitch”) just as they like. Meanwhile, my personal programming hero Shannon Whitley is continuing his promising work with the IABC on a technical standard for SMRs, applicable to all the wire services.
The OTHER path?
The mainstream media is in rapid decline. With ever-diminishing outlets for distribution/publication of their news, corporations are increasingly turning to Content Marketing principles. In other words, they are publishing their own stuff. To heck with the media. Increasingly, that stuff won’t just be video and podcasts, etc., but will also include WELL-WRITTEN news copy about their latest offerings.
The good news about this trend is that the overstuffed press releases of yore will slowly go the way of the dodo. The bad news is that it could get harder to differentiate between news announcements and “advertorial” copy.
You’ll either see bulletized, atomized, media-choked releases or deftly written newsy narratives that seem as if they were drafted by a professional journalist.
— Which could well happen, as my friend David Meerman Scott and The Conversation Agent herself, the lovely Valeria Maltoni, wrote recently. (Both did so quite eloquently, too, so please go visit their sites if you’re intrigued by this concept!)
What do you think? How much longer will the Traditional Release survive?
Posted on: May 5, 2009 at 8:23 am By Todd Defren