Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What Are You Offering Reporters These Days?

Too many PR functions may be thinking in the past.

They're thinking about press releases that haven't changed much over the past decade.

They're thinking about print.

What they need to think about -- and we're taking steps to make sure we do each time out -- is think beyond the press release.

First, let me say I think press releases are still part of the PR toolkit. Social media hasn't eliminated the press release -- they haven't gone the way of the buggy whip.

In fact, we saw that a client quote in a recent press release was picked up in its entirety in a reputable top-tier trade outlet.

But PR functions need to think in a multimedia, interactive world. And we need to guide our internal clients to adapt that mindset.

We need to think about audio and video that can be available with the press release.

We need a website that features audio and video -- and they need to push out that audio, video and other interactive content beyond their website.

We need to offer online photo galleries and make it easier for newspapers -- yes, newspapers -- to feature video. In fact, yesterday a client asked about video for an upcoming launch to see if we thought it would help us secure broadcast coverage; and after that meeting, we realized the answer we should have given (and will, today) is that video is important today for any news organization's website.

We need to provide suggestions of other information, sites, etc. that newspaper websites can link to.

We need to consider online chats we can conduct with reporters for their websites.

Some of this isn't exactly new; I realize that. But there are a lot of organizations are not taking advantage of multimedia. They may consider it expensive, unnecessary, complicated, that they don't have the skill sets or budgets. It's becoming increasingly easy to bring multimedia to your organization or clients. We've been talking with reporters from various media outlets, and they're recognizing the shift. PR functions need to make sure our clients shift, too.

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