Are you ready for the new media release?

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An event is happening happened in Washington D.C. tomorrow morning on May 19, 2006, that I really wish I could have attended. Beyond Blogging 2006 featured some great thought leaders and topics. There is a post on the event blog by Coleman Hutchins (of Fleishman-Hillard) about the evolution of the press release that I found really timely. Some of us in the PR and digital communications committee have been working for years at repackaging news for online consumption. Coleman does a great job of summarizing what works best – these are his words.

  1. Write directly to your audience – including all key micro-segments – when appropriate. With the new approach, write one release (or “releaselet” — mini-release) for each audience using words and concepts they personally relate to.
  2. Take advantage of research resources like Yahoo and Google keywords tools or Wordtracker to find out what terms people are searching for and integrate them into your “release.” Ensure that the way you structure your release and the keywords it contains are in alignment with what people are actually searching for.
  3. Incorporate links back to content on your site, or add multimedia and RSS features to add richness to and extend the reach and life of your release.
  4. Publish more often, take advantage of cheaper distribution channels like your own site, blog or services like PR Web.
  5. Deliver a clear call to action.
  6. Be more familiar.

Repackaging your news materials is a simple (and fun) process once you know exactly who your audience is and how they can use what you have to offer. As I commented on the event blog, context and community are integral elements of new news delivery techniques.
There is a webcast of the event scheduled to be posted at the site early next the week of May 22nd. I can’t wait to check it out and hear the dialogue!