From shot-in-the-dark to a shot-in-the-arm: The message is the medium for company news

By Marc Roth

I’ve never really liked press releases. They are boring, corporate, self-serving and usually irrelevant to most of their readers. However, today’s shift towards a content focused social world, the message is as important as the medium you use to transmit it – meaning companies need to shift away from traditional newsrooms and find their brand specific audience of listeners to make their message more widely seen and heard.

The future ain’t what it used to be
In the past, it was a relatively one-way conversation between a company and the traditional media: the company needed to promote products, and the media was a vehicle to reach those audiences en masse and for very little budget. For the most part, after passing through the hands of several executives and a legal team, the release content had little value to anyone, then it would be up to marketing to publish the news on a wire service to hope that media outlets would publish the news and request more information. Of course reality was that no one called, and the news was forgotten almost as soon as it was released, at least thats my experience.

Making your news work for your readers
Nowadays, I don’t see it that way anymore. Companies have specific niche markets, which in turn now have large, content driven followers, niche blogs, LinkedIn groups, Pinterest boards and YouTube watchers. By tailoring the same core message(s) from a press release into various different channels, you can target eyes and voices that matter to your brand.

Become your own media
Having news to announce is great, but using the channels and media that your target market is engaging with is as important as the news itself. Having and using the right tools and promoting the message through the right channels is key to having journalists of all stripes, from a local blogger to an international reporter be able to find, understand, engage and share it. I love the idea of a corporate managed newsroom to replace the traditional wire releases, like Coke or Intel.

I think that is truly the way of the future for corporate news.

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4 thoughts on “From shot-in-the-dark to a shot-in-the-arm: The message is the medium for company news

  1. Marc, I like your idea of “becoming your own media” and choosing the right channels to promote messages. But I wonder with the sole use of managed newsrooms of Coke, for example, if there is room for frank exchange without the spin of Coke’s PR/newsroom strategists influencing the conversation. (Leslie)

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    1. Marc Roth

      That’s what I liked – control the message at all costs!! 😉 I just think that becoming a subject matter expert for all of your interested parties, independent journalists included, is a new idea that might be a growing trend. Seems more compatible with the way people consume content these days versus sending a press release to a journalist by email?

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  2. Marie-Noëlle

    Hey Marc, I think we are in the same line of thought. Companies have to think like reporters, or storytellers, and either they talk to their audience directly or through media, they need to be subject matters, as you say, and deliver content that is relevant and compelling.

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