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5 Predictions on the Future of the Press Release

Posted on August 18, 2010
 

In the last year, we’ve posted on the “demise” of the press release (R.I.P. Press Releases) and on the advantages PR firms have over agencies in taking the lead on social media (Do PR Firms have the leg up in terms of their ability to manage the measurement of social media), so I was excited when one of our new business directors sent me a recent in-depth article by Mashable’s Erica Swallow in which she “interviewed 14 PR pros on the future of public relations and how they see social media changing the industry.” (Thanks Kris!)

 

It’s excellent stuff-well worth a read. It is, however, rather lengthy, so I wanted to filter out and focus specifically on 5 areas where these PR pros point out the path to the future as they see it and then in a separate post, on the limitations PR firms are currently facing with social media .
First stop though, a spot-on quote from Vice President of BLASTmedia, Lindsay Groepper, discussing how distribution of the press release will continue to be key to its future:

“When I first began my career in PR more than decade ago, we would e-mail or fax (gasp!) the full press release text to the press. What we see now is new methods of distributing the info, driven by social media. Rather than e-mailing a press release, PR people are sending journalists to custom landing pages created just for that specific announcement, contacting them via Twitter with a BUDurl link to the release, or even directing them to a YouTube video with a message from the CEO making the announcement.”

The list of 5 follows. (Please note that several of Mashable’s surveyed PR pros are quoted below and for lack of brevity, I’ve shortened their quotes appropriately. The link to the full article at the end of the post.)
5 ways in which the PR release will change moving forward:
1) The form of the press release isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every channel. “Over the next five years, I think we’ll see three types of press releases that will assist different audiences.”
a) A video format with a short description followed by a link to a video giving information on the news from a company source, hitting on the five W’s and also offering sound-bites that can be used for stories or added to a news story.
b)The second iteration will be a further evolution of the social press release that is being used today, except more brief and more focused.
c)The final is similar to what we see now with company boiler plates, stock quotes and additional information.”
2) It’s going to get shorter; link to more sources; be focused on simplification and explanation; and it’ll come in many more flavors. The press release of the future will deliver its content in text, video, SMS, microblog and podcast form, to any choice of device, whenever the reader decides.
3) Mass social platforms, like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, will continue to be important on some level, but niche, industry-specific networks will be of greater value in the future.
4) Once the industry settles in to a standard for finding the right platforms for each of its clients, the next step is measuring success. The PR industry is moving from placing importance on broadcasting to highly valuing monitoring and measurement: “the tools that can tell you what happened to your message once it got out there.
5) There is a growing demand for social platforms that make it easier for journalists and PR reps to contact one another. Help a Reporter Out (HARO), PRNewswire’s ProfNet, NewsBasis, and Media Kitty are all enabling the communication lines to run in both directions.
Here’s the link to the full article more to come.

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As Director of Business Development at RSW/US, Lee brings new agency clients on board and handles marketing and social media for RSW/US. You can find him on Google+ (https://plus.google.com/+LeeMcKnightJr/) or Twitter (@leemcknightjr).

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