No more releases. Ever.

June 9, 2007

The discussion concerns a certain UK financial establishment which has the apparently irritating habit of sending it’s releases as email attachments…
We’ll pick it up in the very capable hands of Mr Danny Bradbury.

Posted by: Danny Bradbury | June 06, 2007 at 06:13 PM

Rather than asking why we shouldn’t send releases as attachments, the better question might be, why we should?

Posted by: Spud | June 07, 2007 at 12:11 AM

I’m toying with the idea of getting rid of the release as is – simply sending the headline and kicker with a link to the release which is available online. That way I can track (much more efficiently) the response to any particular release. One of the things I’m hesitant on, and the question I’m posing quite a lot is; will the link get clicked?

I know it’s the least inconvenient wat to get out of the email and into the information, but is it one click too many for the 80-100 a day hack? Given that any individual release could then become its own microsite, with far more space for further info, hi-res pics, even video product demos…

So what do you guys think?

Posted by: Sally | June 07, 2007 at 08:17 AM

Hi Spud – I agree with both you and Danny – maybe the question is the wrong way round.

Would I click? Depends on how good the subject line is – but presuming it looked relevant and interesting, I think I would. But I wouldn’t scan it if it only looked half interesting – which I tend to do with text emails.

I guess the issue with sending just a link is also the same as for an attachment in terms of ease of searching. I tend to do a lot of searching within Entourage and that wouldn’t cover t’internet or attachments.

Danny?

Posted by: Danny Bradbury | June 07, 2007 at 09:37 PM

I think Spud’s idea of a microsite is right on the money. There’s a nascent movement of mostly US PR execs who are looking at this. This could be really useful to journos, and opens up possibilities such as product demos, faqs, graphical timelines, AJAX-based widgets that let you graph financial results, and more or less anything else that you can think of.

Seems to me that this would be a great tool for PR execs who want to offer more of a value-add to a client account than simple email blasts. Over the next few years (in the high-tech sector and maybe more slowly elsewhere) email blasts will be replaced by RSS feeds anyway. I don’t believe I’ve received a single Google press release, which is fine by me, because their press room is on blogger and all the releases fall into my newsreader automatically.

As for whether a hack clicks the link or not – well, for me that’s all down to whether the headline and first paragraph are about something I care about. Nothing’s going to persuade me to click on a release about the latest Infiniband interface card because I really couldn’t give a toss – but then, I probably wouldn’t have read past the title/first paragraph in a conventional email release anyway, so no harm done there.

Posted by: Spud | June 08, 2007 at 01:17 PM

Danny, I agree that the act of clicking the link is a direct response to the quality of the opening line and I’m aware of the stuff that our US counterparts are playing with, but as it’s new there’s no concrete results from them to point to whether it provides more/less/no change in efficiency,which is why the “graphical timelines, AJAX-based widgets that let you graph financial results, and more or less anything else that you can think of” might have to wait a bit!

I’m fairly confident that it will work very well(with a spike at the start for sheer novelty value)and eventually help to improve PR/Journo relations across the board – but it needs a lot of putting together.

Your situation with the Google press office is exactly what I’m aiming for – reversing the traffic if you like. Instead sending info to you, you’re actively coming to get the info from me. Eureka!

Now I’m appealing for opinion on this – anyone doing it on a regular basis? Does it sound like something that the 80-100 releases per day hack would appreciate? Would it make life easier? Would it improve the often tense relationship between flack and hack?

All contributions well and truly welcome, the rest of it can be found on Sally’s blog

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