the new press release

Press release RIPThere has been no stronger advocate for rethinking the venerable press release than Steve Rubel, author of the marketing blog Micro Persuasion (see the picture he had on his post “Everything’s a Press Release at right).  In a 2005 post, “Blogs are the New Press Release,” he declared “the press release is dead” and hailed the blog as its replacement.  Why?  He listed three reasons:

  • RSS syndication – news can travel everywhere quickly. 
  • Human voice – None of the “royal we.”  There is a human talking to other humans.
  • Conversation – People reading the news could give their feedback through comments and trackbacks.

Blogs as the new press release – RSS, tagging, two way conversation?.  Can this be what God and Madison Avenue intended a press release to be?  Shouldn’t a press release be a carefully crafted message to gain the attention of the media?  Perhaps in the days of the Organizaiton Man and Mass Everything. 

But today we live in an age of limited attention – what Rubel refers to “Attention Crash.”  We are over messaged.  Filters have become more important than messages.  RSS is a kind of filter, as are social networks.   So what to do if you’re a pubisher who wants to get the word out.  Provide information and let the crowd interact with it, tag it and share it through sites like Digg.

The New Rules of PRPerhaps we should also reconsider who we’re talking to.  David Meerman Scott suggested in his revolutionary e-book “The New Rules of PR” that we should consider a direct-to-consumer press release.  What might this look like in the Web 2.0 world?  Edelman, the world’s larget PR firm has been experimenting with an interactive press release – called StoryCrafter.  Here is a suggestion for a book press release, combining traditional and new elements:

  • Book title
  • Book cover image
  • Author name, picture & short bio
  • Book description
  • Price
  • ISBN
  • Contact information
  • Podcast book excerpts
  • Podcast author interviews
  • Links to author blog and social networking pages
  • Book trailer
  • Links to relevant sites that add interesting background information
  • LInk to site(s) where book can be purchased
  • Area for comments and trackbacks
  • Widgets to allow users to subscribce, tag and share the news

The blog functions as a continuously operating online press room and news archive at the same time.  Expect great things of the Web 2.0 press release.  Just not the same things of days gone by.  The press release is dead!  Long live the press release!

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