February 19th, 2016
Back in December I wrote a post on newswires and questioned if they were dying or evolving. Early on, reporters and journalists utilized newswires almost exclusively. Today the Internet and social media provide new opportunities to extend newswire feeds to a global audience.
Newswires serve as gateways and channels to distribute information, largely through the form of press releases, which have also changed over the years. With blogs and social media, many have questioned if press releases are still relevant. The short answer is yes, but only if they are smart and THIN – timely, honest, informative and newsworthy.
Most press releases are too long, improperly constructed, and often bloated with unnecessary information. Others are written in a sensationalized tone, using buzzwords and self-serving jargon that do not help inform or educate.
Take a good look at your press releases. If you are making these common mistakes, you are significantly minimizing the effectiveness of your press announcements, as well as your ability to provide relevant, useful information. Press releases need to be structured within the following framework to ensure intellectual fitness:
In the past 10 years or so, press releases have certainly changed, delivering a more interactive reading (and viewing and listening) experience. They should no longer only include “plain-vanilla” text. Press releases are now the launch point to other content such as videos, infographics, blog posts, and podcasts, giving readers more information to learn about the subject matter. This content also provides the media with diverse materials to develop more compelling articles.
Press releases (and the newswires they are distributed through) offer new ways to inform audiences and tell a story and even influence your organization’s SEO and discoverability. Making sure they are smart and THIN will improve visibility and earn the attention of the reader.