Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Swift Kick into "PR 2.0"

Among the challenges raised among the voices who reacted to the debut of the Social Media Press Release template: the sense of "unreadiness" among media, PR, clients, and the wire services themselves. Jeremy Pepper probably said it best: "it's all about baby steps, and I think this is too big a step for a lot of consumer companies."

I admitted at the start that this template may well be too bleeding-edge (for now), but frankly I've been blown away by the positive reactions among clients, media and PR pros; the positives far outweigh the negatives so far (and even the so-called negatives have been constructive). My in-box is flooded.
  • One journalist told me, "This is cool; there are less things for me to ignore!"
  • The director of PR at a billion+ dollar company (not a client) reached out to say, "This is just the kind of thinking that we need."
  • The prez @ bitePR let me know they were working on similar projects for their clients.
And that's just a sampling. Wow. Thank you, all! We'll see what happens...

A key lesson learned from this effort is that if anyone seems truly "unready" for the next-gen press release, it's the wire services. Despite their claims, it seems it's still "horse & buggy" time.
  • 24+ hours turnaround, and only during business hours? Responsiveness? - slug-like.
  • Very poor knowledge or utility when it comes to Web 2.0 stuff like, Technorati, etc.
  • Formatting nightmares.
  • The multimedia nature of these Social Media Press Releases = more $$$. This will be a deal-breaker for some clients.
Interestingly, Mr. Buffett's pet, BusinessWire --- with whom we've enjoyed a warm relationship for years --- was worst of all. PRWeb was pretty good, but clearly not as up-to-snuff as they'd have you believe. Ultimately, PR Newswire was the acceptable middle ground in terms of functionality and breadth. Their MultiVu version of our release was the best of the bunch. I wouldn't hold them up as a shining example, though (mostly due to their pricing, and their 24-hour, business-hours-only policies, which seem out of step with today's 24/7 culture).

You can argue that this is "bleeding edge" stuff; you can argue that no one's touched the press release format in 50 years ... but, c'mon --- it also ain't rocket science.

Everyone has some hard work to do in this arena, and --- based on the reactions so far --- it seems to be work that's worth doing. Giddyap!


Blogger PR Minority said...

From the previous posting, I agree with Kevin that good newsworthy press release is what needed and it’s PR pros like us who are paid to advise our clients to do so. Whether they choose to ignore it is a different question. However, why not give journalists who are sifting through as many as hundreds of releases and pitches a day a format they would easily be able to sort through and may even give an extra 10 seconds of attention. Ultimately, it’s the relationships with journalists that will help the cause but we all need a starting point…giving a journalist something useful may open that door. With all that said, the concept is "WICKED"...adoption however may be years away.

May 25, 2006  
Blogger Kami Huyse, APR said...

Todd; I agree that this is probably not going to be adopted anytime soon. But what if we offered such a thing in our online press rooms to make it easy to get ALL of the information that you need. It just needs a photo/image/video/radio clip componant to be complete.

All of this clicking on online press rooms to get what you need drives me nuts when I am assembling stuff for my magazine.

Just another thought.

May 25, 2006  

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