As PR student, I have quickly learned that the news release can produce variety of results; a traditional release can range from extremely effective to downright useless. In order to decrease the amount of “useless” information released, PR pros have been making the switch from the traditional, printed press release to an online platform now referred to as the “digital news release.”
For the most part, the content found in both versions of these releases is the same. However, a digital news release differs from a traditional release because of the
1) Digital format (as you may have guessed)
2) Concise, bulleted writing style
3) Multi-media features. This means the page can include links to additional information, downloads, videos, photos, and more. Think of a more professional blog post.
How will going digital increase the effectiveness of a release?
The increasing amount of information available on the Web, particularly through social media, has changed the way people read. Jason Breed of Hashtagsocialmedia.com says people are no longer reading how they used to. “There are way too many other releases (blogs) that compete for the same timeshare,” says Breed in his article The New Digital Press Release. Breed emphasizes that instead of flipping through a hard-copy of the paper, readers are scrolling though the news on their laptop or even their Smartphone. This on-the-go access to information demands that information be concise and fast. The wire can no longer compete with the Internet’s instantaneous delivery, and thus PR pros have turned to the digital media release as a staple of communication.
As mentioned before, the Web allows for media releases to host links, photos, videos, bios, and much more. All of these add-ons enrich each release with supporting evidence, and most importantly, more information, making messages in a digital format stronger than in a traditional news release.
The capability to share more information also allows for more coverage. The digital version of your release can get up to three times more coverage (Ganci, 2012) than the traditional release. This publicity could have a massive effect on your company.
The digital format also allows companies to tailor each release to better target specific audiences. Different versions can be sent across different platforms dependent on target markets.
In short, digital media release has improved the traditional release of information by enriching its content, increasing its circulation, and pinpointing target audiences. Without a digital format, the media release would not be able to compete with the fast-paced and immediate characteristics of Web content — people would simply not read them. That is why it’s important to always release your info online and take full advantage of the tools! <