Of all the uses of the Web—particularly the new and social media aspects of the Web—you wouldn’t think the stalwart press release would be worth much discussion. What is there, after all, to a press release? Look at any release issued through PR Newswire or any of the other wire services, or review any of the releases available at Yahoo! All you’re likely to find is a headline, narrative information and some contact details. All just flat text. Big deal, right?
In fact, the press release is undergoing a significant face lift that leverages much of what makes the whole Web 2.0 phenomenon so appealing. This renovation is based on two separate yet equally important factors:
• Many journalists are dismayed by the state of the traditional press release. Add to this the fact that bloggers—many of whom comprise the “citizen journalist’ category— find traditional releases all but useless for their purposes.
• The elements of the press release lend themselves perfectly to the new tools of online communication.