This article was originally published on reverb, Drake Cooper’s reflections on advertising, creativity, and trends. Read more.

The Future of the News Release

Interesting article here. The article discusses how the SEC has recently officially stated that companies can meet full disclosure requirements by posting information on their web sites and blogs – something not previously allowed. PR professionals will be freed from the constraints of traditional media that had been binding them to meet legal requirements. As larger companies begin to take advantage of this new convenience, I predict we will begin to see a revolution in the traditional news release.

The article says this “opens the door for the ‘Social Media Release,'” a tactic that the author points out should supplement, not replace, a traditional release. The social media release is a much richer way to offer information to the media, utilizing Web 2.0 components such as YouTube, iTunes, Flickr, etc. The Drake Cooper PR team has been studying the social media release in the past months, and we included it as a capability of ours in the dairy pitch. Read the article for a more detailed explanation of the significance of the announcement.

If you can’t get your mind wrapped around what we mean by “Social Media Release,” I would compare it to the way cnn.com presents the news versus how a traditional, tangible print paper presents the news. Take this article, about gorillas, for example. If you read that in the Wall Street Journal print edition, you would get the text you see there, and nothing else. That’s comparable to our traditional release. Covers the basic information and tells you how to find out more. Alternatively, on cnn.com, you can click on the tabs at the top of the story for more integrated information – there’s a tab for read, video, map and background. A social media release allows you to explore, interact and learn more about the subject, just like cnn.com does with their news. It goes light years beyond an e-mail full of text about a topic. Here’s a screenshot of one social media release template:

One thing I personally am unsure of regarding these will be where we host them…do we get our clients to put them on their websites? Do we post them on our site? Will there become an open source site for anyone to post this type of releases to – a Wikipedia of news? Will the Statesman allow PR professionals to upload something like this a place on their site for their access? All of the above?

This social media release could work well for a number of our clients…now if we can just get them to consider posting their news this way.