Support Builds For Social Media News Releases
CBC’s Tod Maffin wrote today about his frustration with the traditional news release:
There’s the lead paragraph, followed by some bullshit quote from a senior executive (”I’m pleased to announce the blah blah blah…”) and then usually a string of meaningless brand names… er BRAND NAMES… and no real sense of the news value or the real story.
He also proposes a ‘new format‘ for news releases:
It contains the bare essentials, in bullet-point form, to catch the eye of journalists. It still includes the obligatory crappyquote from the executive, but it’s written in a simple, non-hyped style.
Todd’s proposal adds to the voices calling for social media news releases. I’ve had a lot of conversations about these recently, both at work and here on my blog, and I increasingly find myself evangelizing this tactic.
- It provides a bunch of easily-used links and resources for journalists
- It’s written in clear, plain language
The first point is critical (the second is a topic for another time).
One of the main reasons I like the social format is that it makes life easy for journalists. They don’t have to spend time digging through the release for the news – it’s right there.
I’ve already blogged that I don’t think the social media news release is a ‘one size fits all’ solution. There’s a definite place for a well-written traditional release, especially if you’re looking for coverage in local or multicultural media. However, for the mainstream media, this format has (in my mind) clear benefits.
I recently talked to a former Toronto Star journalist about this new format. He loved the idea from two perspectives:
- For the reporter, the format makes information and resources easy to find
- For the assignment editor, the format makes additional content – images, video, audio – clear, reducing their uncertainty around the story
I can see the draw-backs to this – extra work, increased lead time, higher costs. However, with the potential benefits, why not try it out?
I try to play a small role by promoting the concept of the social media news release in my organization. I’ve received a good reception so far; time will tell where that will lead.
What are you doing?