press release format SHIFTs into new media gear
Shift Communications has created a template for what may become the press release of the future. Unlike traditional releases that use keywords or HTML to push journalists towards more information, the SHIFT template is a hack’s dream: every little bit of media you could possibly need to write an article, create a blog post, or even develop a webcast is included. Think of it as a content-rich press release, the SHIFT idea is to give all the pieces necessary for a “remix.”
SHIFT may make lazy journos lazier, or may enbolden hacks by giving out yet more regurgitatable content, but more importantly, the SHIFT template reflects the realities of today’s social media landscape. The social media press release contains sections for photos, graphics, MP3 files, links to RSS or del.icio.us, pre-approved quotes, and boilerplate statements. What’s remarkable about this template, and what some writers may be loathe to admit, is that when pressed for time, a writer thinks like this:
I need a quote. Oh, here’s one in the press release.”
“Damn it, if only I had a photo, this article for TheWebsiteIAmPitching.com would stand a better chance of getting picked up.”
“I don’t have time to research where else this story’s been written about. Oh, never mind, here are the links right here in the release!”
I can see how Shift Communications could seduce coverage-hungry clients with their press-release-on-steroids methodology, but in the final analysis, if the idea isn’t compelling, no one’s going to care, no matter how buff the press release.