4 Ways that Media Releases Outshine the Archaic Press Release

By: Robyn Clarke (@msrobynclarke)

“It’s incredibly hard to get a social media community interested in a press release, and it’s not because they hate hearing about what your company is up to, it’s just that they hate the way you’re telling the story”

Muhammad Saleem, Copyblogger

There’s no denying it. Social media has changed the way that businesses operate – especially when it comes to communicating with their customers. The traditional press release pitched journalists with news about companies and the release of new products, events or community interactions. The current incarnation is the media release and it had democratized how company news gets disseminated. Let’s take a look at how this evolution took place.

David Meerman Scott, writer of the successful Marketing and PR book “The New Rules” offers up some quick examples in an excerpt from his book. He outlines the differences between the traditional press release, and the newer (read: social media infused) press releases. Scott writes:

Ye Olde Press Release
© David Meerman Scott

Ye Olde Press Release Rules indicates that traditional releases were strictly for media. This changed significantly with the advent of social media. In the next image, Scott looks at the new rules of press releases, which includes the main difference – bypassing reporters, and talking directly to your customers.

New Press Releases

So, what are the four ways that media releases improve upon their older sister?

4 Ways That Media Releases Have Improved on the Traditional Press Release

  1. The new press release (enhanced by social media) allow businesses interact directly with their consumers. Often, they are released in real time and allow customer feedback right away through social channels.
  2. Media releases tell a story! They draw people in with the brand voice and lifestyle while attempting to communicate authenticity about the product. They reflect the turn towards content marketing.
  3. Media releases are not as formal – they can be targeted towards customers, journalists and shareholders alike, (although discretion is useful here-the traditional press release is still valued for its formality, and often used in a B to B context as well).
  4. Media releases let the company tell their story. The goal here is to craft a story that is so good that the busy journalist won’t bother to re-write. Furthermore, by being directly available to the customers-through the immediacy of the internet, companies have complete control over their message.

Ask Yourself: As a customer, which do you prefer?

Example of a Traditional Press Release by Anthropologie for Sit Stay Love Campaign

Example of Tweets about Same Campaign

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.28.05 PM

The difference between ye olde press release and the new social media release is significant. However, the main thing to take away is “know your customer.” Most people want information quickly, in 140 words with an accompanying picture or information. People want authenticity, and they don’t want to be bothered with pesky details. Content marketing is proving this as well.

Check out what Dechay Watts says about the press release here and tell me your opinion! She has some great points on the relevance of the press release and its relationship with content marketing.

As a marketer it’s your choice – decide what works best for your brand and use all the tools in your toolkit, as Brigitte would say.

Tell me what you think! Get in touch with me on Twitter: @msrobynclarke and use the hashtag #CBUS111

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Saleem, Muhammad. “How to Write a Social Media Press Release.” Copyblogger.com. http://www.copyblogger.com/social-media-press-release/

Scott, David Meerman. The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, & Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly. 5th Edition. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons, 2015. Print.

A Useful Excerpt from David Meerman Scott: http://www.davidmeermanscott.com/documents/New_Rules_of_PR.pdf

Predictions for Press Releases: https://www.brandwatch.com/2015/01/ask-experts-3-predictions-press-release-evolution/

On the history of the press release: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/history-of-the-press-release/

Dechay Watts. http://www.sproutcontent.com/blog/bid/152054/How-Content-Marketing-has-Changed-the-Role-of-the-Press-Release

3 thoughts on “4 Ways that Media Releases Outshine the Archaic Press Release

  1. Laetitia Cany

    Hi Robyn,

    Great post, I found your sources of great interest. Perhaps an analysis of the media release would have helped me, not sure if it is old style or new style. I liked the examples the tweets, it is even more tangible. Question: how come I can see advertising at the bottom of your post? Wow!



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