Press Release 2.0: Writing and Content Matter More than Tech Tricks

Tactics, the newsletter of the Public Relations Society of America , devoted its February issue to writing, and that’s good news.

PRSA Public Relations Society of AmericaWhy? Because in the contest to appear more-social-media-savvy-than-thou, some industry pros are losing sight of what matters most when it comes to press releases: good writing and valuable content. After that, appropriate delivery gets your message heard.

Judging from the roiling conversation around the “social media release,” you might think that press release results are all about the technology–that sharing chicklets, trackbacks, multimedia and tags are a PR panacea.

We at Business Wire and EON: Enhanced Online News don’t buy that. We believe a well-written story, distributed through appropriate channels, gets your message across.

That DOES NOT MEAN press release content shoved inappropriately into social media networks and two-way conversations. Crashing the party and interrupting conversations has never worked for me in the past…how ’bout you?

In our webinars, we educate attendees on how new media tools apply to press releases, reminding them that tapping into social networks requires time, energy and understanding. That’s why it’s called “networking,” which applies online just as it does in person.

At a PRSA meeting, you wouldn’t barge into a group of people you don’t know, shouting “Have you seen our new product?!? It’s really great! You should buy it!”

You wouldn’t.

Rather, you’d listen, find common ground, start a conversation, develop rapport, cultivate a relationship…and maybe, just maybe…hours, days or weeks later, propose some sort of contact.

Making releases more web friendly can increase a release’s Web traction, no doubt about it. And surely you won’t be surprised to learn that IMHO Business Wire and EON: Enhanced Online News offer the best tools on the planet for delivering press releases to their appropriate audiences.

That said, even OUR superior technology is incidental to the content and the writing.

11 Responses to Press Release 2.0: Writing and Content Matter More than Tech Tricks

  1. James Johnson says:

    You can put down your gloves now. A little defensive don’t you think?

    The social media elements of an SMR are not about content being ‘shoved inappropriately into social networks’ at all. You know that. And if you don’t, you really should.

    Second thing. Reassuring to see Business Wire’s corporate blog linking to another blog that criticizes a direct competitor.

    Now that’s the spirit of social media.

  2. In the desire to deliver a round of buzzwords and tags for placement and coverage, some Press Releases miss the target of basic understanding and value (in the offering or product). Two of the best guides I found came from BW’s Web site: “Feature Topic Series Tips”, and “SEO Tips”. Combined, these two guides help you strike a ‘balance’ of a “…well-written story, distributed through appropriate channels…” You have to dig a little to find them :-(

    Follow this ‘map’ to get there: BW “Home”, then tab(s) “Products & Services”, “Tips & Tools”, and look to the left margin for the hyperlinks. Look at the “Sample Press Release”, too.

    Now you know why I think BW offers the best tools and technology to deliver the press release to the “appropriate audiences”.

  3. Thanks for the kind words, Peter. As Barack and Hillary said in the debate last night: words matter. Sometimes it seems the content gets swept aside in the wake of the technology.

    As for my “gloves,” I left them with my gardening gear in the shed, James. You’ve misunderstood me here–my bad, perhaps, and it won’t be the first or last time. Feel free to call me by phone so maybe we can better understand each other. Meanwhile, I’ll always defend good writing and valuable content appropriately distributed.

  4. But even one of BW’s most popular services is a “new media” service that is not even run by BW — EON is run by Vocus.

    I agree with what you’re saying in principle, but the Internet has shifted the role of press releases in recent years, making press releases more a service targeted directly to consumers than to journalists. Because of this, while gud riting is essential, properly formatted XHTML and the ability to ping the correct search engines will ensure better longevity and access to Web surfers for these releases. All of our Chinese-language (and even some of our English-language) news and PR-related websites pop-up much more on the search engine radar than BW’s sites simply because we do a better job of targeting our content and sites to these search engines. It’s not rocket science.

    -Danny Levinson

  5. “At a PRSA meeting, you wouldn’t barge into a group of people you don’t know, shouting “Have you seen our new product?!? It’s really great! You should buy it!”

    You wouldn’t.

    Rather, you’d listen, find common ground, start a conversation, develop rapport, cultivate a relationship…and maybe, just maybe…hours, days or weeks later, propose some sort of contact.”

    I agree very much with this one. you should measure your audience and somehow adjust to how they are.

  6. [...] as King?   Multiple sessions touched on the back-to-the-future notion that once again, content rules.   Valuable content, well written, appropriately distributed reaps audience.   When Social [...]

  7. BobM says:

    I don’t think he was defensive at all. Merely speaking his mind about good writing and valuable content appropriately. I for one enjoyed it and learned a bit from the post. I mean most of us know this but every now and then a little repetition helps keep those of us running websites in order.
    Cheers

  8. [...] social media, you need a balance of the rich attributes of tags and links, too (see this: Press Release 2.0: Writing and Content Matter More than Tech Tricks BusinessWired). Keep in mind the history of the Press Release, as it celebrated 100 years of distribution in [...]

  9. [...] there’s no Magic Pixie Dust.  Wish there were.    We’re back to good content, well written, appropriately distributed.   That’s why you get paid the big [...]

  10. thatsme says:

    The continual problem faced by internet newbies is how to get targeted traffic, create appropriate press releases the ping the “right” sites. Your article helps understand the process. Thanks.

  11. [...] its keyword analysis and placement functions, all of our tools and advice are in the service of the well-written, properly distributed press release.  All the keywords in the world can’t substitute for good content — if they could, [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38,341 other followers

%d bloggers like this: