SHIFT Communications unveiled a new format for the news release today that incorporates social media hooks in an effort to make your next news release as highly-networked as a blog post. Todd Defren is leading the charge and, like anyone on a mission, he will probably get arrows along with the accolades.
Side Note: Todd, the blogs calling for change are usually the same ones that kick the crap out of anyone that actually answers the call.
The Bad Pitch blog is all for improving old tools by blending them with new ones. But if your writing sucks or you are not writing about news, no format will save you from the dustbin (or from a blog post calling you out in front of your peers for that matter).
So as we join the din of PR bloggers giving Todd a well-deserved salute, we would like to remind readers that a news release supports a pitch as background information. A news release is not a pitch.
In the past month I have received two emails that were nothing more than a news release. After challenging the senders on why the release was relevant to my readers, I received concise explanations. I can only assume that these explanations were not sent as pitches in the first place because it was a mass pitch.
Regardless, be sure to check out the SHIFT template. If it does not make sense, take heart. SHIFT is a high-tech agency. So you have some time to learn more about all of these social media tools, and how they might improve your public relations efforts, before they become mainstream. But don’t wait too long. Even the Associated Press is busy inking deals to ensure it becomes more Web-friendly.
Cross-posted at the Bad Pitch blog.