Posts Tagged ‘press release’

Are Embargoed Releases Dead?

March 17, 2010

Note: My first draft of this blog basically listed reasons why I think that the embargoed press release is dead.  After passing the draft around to get some opinions and edits, I was starting to hear, “Nicole, this is great, but I don’t really agree with you.”  So, here I sit with the second go at the entry… and I hope that it sparks some lively discussion from both sides!

When I first started my career in public relations embargoed releases were something that we discussed with clients and within our agency on, at least, a weekly basis.  In my first year of agency life I distributed five embargoed releases on behalf of clients with “breaking” news for next week.

Looking at public relations and the media today, are embargoed releases even necessary?  I think that they are less important than before, and here’s why:

  • Technology. In the mid 90’s email was just coming on line. Agencies used to fax or mail press releases to media outlets.  Publicists used to have to work the phones (gasp!) to pitch media, who were always on deadline and would be anxious to get you off the phone. Setting up a story and sources used to take hours (if you were lucky) and lots of coordination. In today’s world, use of email and mobile applications have sped this process up.  Most of my media contacts appreciate a well-written, concise pitch via email – NOT a traditional press release.  Response to the email can take time, but if your news is time sensitive (read: breaking news) you can reach the media quickly.  A call to the assignment desk if necessary, with a follow-up email if they have requested more information is easily done.
  • Social Media. Sure, it is great if you can get a network evening news program to break your client’s story – but if you are not getting the traction you need, you can break the news yourself via social media.  Stowe Boyd made the “twit pitch” popular. PitchEngine, made an easy platform for creation and distribution of social media releases (SMRs).  These are just two of the many examples of how you can get the message out to traditional and non-traditional press… and go direct to consumer.

Bottom line is getting the story out in a “controlled” way – avoiding information leaks before your client is ready for the news to break.  I have had experiences with a major news network jumping the gun by 20 hours and pushing my story out – Hooray! I got the press for the client, but we were just not ready yet.

So, what do you think? Are embargoed releases still an important way of how we do public relations today? Why or why not?

Press Releases of the NOW

October 9, 2008

So I promised that my next blog would get away from social marketing and focus more on PR.  Well, I was half telling the truth!

Social media releases are kind of becoming a buzz topic in the industry.  As PR starts working more hand in hand with social marketing, and the media is crossing over its traditional lines, the way PR professionals pitch and communicate with the media is ever changing.

Wire services are offering online components for distribution of press releases.  They distribute the release both by traditional means of blasting the information out to newsrooms and now also offer a service of making your news more “social” or “viral.” PRWeb is a good example of this.  When they distribute your release they also include distribution to online news sites, like Google and Yahoo. Your news becomes searchable by being listed both on their own newsfeed site and on these online sites.  There is a cost to this, and depending on the service and distribution you choose, it can cost anywhere between $250 and $800 or more.

Pitch Engine allows you to build a social media release for free, online. PR pros are using this new to and various ways. Some are posting the information and letting it become discovered by the journalists who search the site.  Others are using it as a means of distribution.  At PMG we are using it to help distribute our information.  We build the social media release, upload the images, links, and all other information and then get the assigned URL for the release.  When pitching reporters we offer the link to them to obtain the additional information.  In our view this is valuable for the media and PR people alike, as attachments to emails can get caught in spam filters and it is just a one-stop shop for all of the information needed.  The other great feature: the quick pitch! Basically, this area has you create a 115 character pitch about the release.  Talk about useful! We can use this on Twitter, as a start to some of our email pitches… the list is endless!  Our thanks to Jason Kintzler for developing this tool.  It has changed the way we pitch and distribute our information, not to mention… we think it is really effective.

Micro-blogging your pitch can be effective – if you have the right people in your networks. This is along the line of a TwitPitch or a Quick Pitch. You boil your pitch down to 140 characters or less and post it on Twitter or in your “what are you doing” section of any social network you belong to.  Your network then and see what your news is.  Be sure to provide a link to the full release.

Sure, keeping up with it all is a bit cumbersome, but, with our ever-changing world it is necessary.  You really want to continue to reach our traditional outlets, but at the same time embrace the new media.  Keep in mind that some some “old school” outlets like the New York Times have online editions as well.  These online editions sometimes can yield better placements… they certainly are trackable by looking at your click throughs!

Happy pitching,

Nicole

Don’t Push Me!

August 6, 2008

There has been a lot of discussion about how to distribute company press releases now and there has been much debate.  In fact, there are even blogs written about bad pitches and pr firms that have mis-stepped.  Hey, it happens from time to time.

So what is the best way to get your message and news out there?  Do you push it through mass distribution of a press release or do you go the pull method – pitching your story to each and every media outlet on your list?  Well, I think a bit of both.

Times are changing and the way we used to kick it old school and do mass blast faxing to media outlets is gone.  But you should kick it old school and K.I.S.S – send short pitches to targeted media – but only after you have done your homework on said journalist.  Have you heard of the Twitter pitch?  Basically it is pitching your story in 160 characters or less.  If the journalist bites, then send them the press release.

“But, Nicole, that will take a long time for that kind of initiative!”

Yes, it probably will, but your results will be worth it.

Looking forward to seeing you in print,

Nicole