What can't be denied is the fact that the web has changed the way we access information and people have discovered the power of voice. News is no longer a one-way, static inflow of information. We want to have our say. We want to comment and contribute. We want to shape and influence the news.
Should a press release be a part of this social web, you might ask. Google thinks we have the right to comment on news stories, albeit only if we are a participant in that story.
And now that press releases find their way into news search engines and blogs they've evolved from a corporate announcement intended only for reporters to information that reaches the public directly. So it makes sense that companies would want this information to be found on social sites and to encourage people to comment on this news, save it and share it.
I spent a few hours going through a demo of the new Marketwire product Social Media 2.0 for press releases today. I did like some of what I saw. And I, too, will trst, test anf test agsin before I make a judgement..
What I liked
1. In-release performance statistics on search engine cataloging.
2. They're getting your content out to places other than the Marketwire site - they upload the video to YouTube, images to Photobucket. That's a plus for non-techie PR folk..
3. The ability to comment. However, you can only have this feature if you also use their hosted newsroom. I'd advise my clients to have a newsroom on their own website. And to create an RSS Feed of their news content on their own domain name. It's better branding and better for SEO.
Things I am not sure of:
1. Adding the content of press releases in a Twitter feed. All press releases in one feed into Twitter? That's not why I go to Twitter. But Twitter does get good Google visbility, We'll see what kind of response this gets from Twitter users.
2. The value of a podcast in iTunes of headlines from many press releases from diverse companies.
So the jury is still out. I am part of a research project for the Society for New Communication Research (SNCR) on the use of press releases in new media. We will be testing this new service along with other wire services and alternative methods of getting your release out into the social media sphere today.
I am also going to test it myself for a few clients who already use Marketwire.