11 alternatives for a news release

News releases don’t always get the job done like they used to. Here’s how social media, blogs and other methods can help you spread your news instead.

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I recently heard the media relations director for a major university speaking about her strategies. When asked how many news releases her office issues, she said about 300 annually—that’s nearly one a day! She then added that most of the releases aren’t actually issued to the news media, but simply posted on the Web for “internal purposes.”

That’s not an oxymoron, but an indicator that the news release has outlived its usefulness in a social media/Web 2.0 world. It’s also an indication that this university is investing a lot of time, labor and cost in an outdated and ineffective communications tool purely to satisfy internal clients.

Many people ask for announcements, news conferences or news releases when they really need or want something else. For years I’ve recommended options communicators can use. Now I’m updating that list to reflect more social media options so you can stop producing news releases and put your time to better use.

Try these options instead of a news release:

1. Post a short video message.

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