Make it Easy for Online Readers to Learn More with Social Media Press Release Format

You already know that you can distribute press releases online to reach readers directly, vs. through the traditional media. Now, take that one step further with this new press release format (from Shift Communications) which presents the kind of info demanded by online information seekers — in accessible chunks and with RSS feeds, links to del.icio.us (to share bookmarks) and tags (to faciliate being found by search engines). As a bonus, this format might generate a new style of PR writing that relies less on hyperbole and more on facts.

Take a look at the announcement press release from Shift, which follows the new format. Put that and the format template in front of you, and you’ll see the following elements that enable online release readers (who include many traditional journalists, as well as bloggers and your audiences) to easily take action:

  • Full contact information with email, blog and instant messenger addresses.
  • Succinct, news facts bullet points — easier to digest than traditional narrative.
  • Delicious page with links to related sources, updated regularly and available as a feed to your RSS reader, so updates come to you. In this case, SHIFT uses this page to link readers to coverage of their template release, and the agency itself.
  • Downloads — in the sample a photo, logo and the press release template.
  • Links to spokesperson’s LinkedIn profile.
  • One-click buttons to add the press release to the readers Delicious bookmarks or to rate it via Digg.
  • Technorati tags to improve search access via Technorati (mostly a blog-focused search engine).

Variations on this format are beginning to pop up but all share the common denominator of easy interactivity. Let’s say it together one more time. Make it easy for your audiences.

Nonprofit communicators, try this format for posting on your Web site and distributing via the wire services. If you’re bold, email it to your key press contacts and solicit their feedback. Email me to share what you hear back, and I’ll report back to Getting Attention readers.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 31, 2006 in Copywriting, Media Relations and Press, Nonprofit Communications, Social Networking, Web 2.0 | 2 comments
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