For any PR pros who have been napping: Wakey, wakey! There’s a new world order for delivering client news.
The catalyst for change is, of course, social networks that allow anyone who has heard your news to Tweet, Facebook, blog and otherwise blab before traditional media have even adjourned their morning editorial meetings. The procedure for timing distribution of your client’s news release and related social posts deserves another look and probably an overhaul.
I’ve seen some Tweets proclaiming that the press release is dead. It’s true that journalists today rely on influential bloggers, Twitter trends and Google alerts to feel the pulse of their beats. In fact, where the news stream used to start with print dailies and weeklies, then flow to broadcast and periodicals, today, it’s buzz on the Web that draws journalists to a trend.
For breaking news, though, the press release still has its uses. We just need to use it in context with the new media tools.
Here’s a streamlined distribution process to jolt PR sleepy heads out there. These steps relate to breaking news from a local market client that does not need to address influential bloggers as a separate universe. In this case, we’re handling all media outlets with equal weight and bloggers are on the media list.
1. Release emailed to the organization’s board of directors.
2. Release posted on the organization’s website.
3. Release link posted to social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Linked In)
4. Release emailed to news media (including bloggers).
5. Release emailed to all stakeholders on the organization’s proprietary list.
How would you modify this list to create buzz for positive news that hasn’t happened yet? More and more, influential bloggers are the ones who fan the early flame, and they like getting an exclusive as much as the local news reporter.
Look to Apple for a fine example of being in the news every day for a week before the news actually happens. Of course, we all don’t have Apple-ish stories to pitch, but bloggers and social networks give us excellent avenues for firing up a buzz.
And when the actual news does break, you can bet there will be a press release.
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