The Press Release "Remix"

Friday, May 12, 2006 | comments

From Shel Hotz's blog last week:

In (the May 9) edition of For Immediate Release podcast interviews, Neville and Shel enjoyed a 28-minute conversation with Tom Foremski, editor of Silicon Valley Watcher, about online journalism, public relations, the relationships between the two, the future of the press release, and the impacts of change in these professions being brought about by social media.

This was a great chat, and yep, the "Press Release of Tomorrow" topic came up (yay!). Stuart Bruce subsequently responded, "The world - specifically, mainstream reporters - ain't ready yet."

I respectfully disagree.

Consider this: among the reader-submitted ideas that most intrigued the WSJ's editors, when they asked readers "to look ahead and describe for us the perfect news site, circa 2016," was this gem:
"Reporters … find out all sorts of things when writing an article or cover a business, but these don't always fit into the form of a news article. They should be dumped into an encyclopedia."
You know where that additional research/content/context/link fodder would come from?
From the PR community! From the Press Release of the Future!

Here's the thing: the "Press Release of Tomorrow" (PROT) will still contain NEWS CONTENT, and arguably in a more digestible format.

The only "Big Change" is the recognition that all Internet users --- including journalists, as the graphic implies --- are now comfortable researching & working online, across many types of "remixable media"
(hyperlinks, text, photos, videos, pdf, etc.) ...

At its essence, the PROT merely facilitates the journalist's job, by amplifying prospective source materials. "Here is the basic NEWS item. Here are some QUOTES from execs, users, etc. And, here are links to alternative news sources that provide CONTEXT and ADDITIONAL CONTENT for your consideration."

The PROT does not replace a well-crafted pitch. It does not replace the need to provide basic, factual news. And --- contrary to the opinions of the PR contrarians --- the format of the PROT is arguably as familiar to the journalist as the Tradition Press Release: it basically looks like a webpage!

It's a custom-built mini-site... that we can humbly call the Press Release of Tomorrow.

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