As we are all bombarded by more and more e-mails, messages, posts, updates, etc..,it would seem pretty obvious that the sort of mass e-mail one sheet would no longer be the best way to get people's attention.
Apparently, this has not been so obvious to PR professionals.
According to Tom Forenski, in his blog post "4 Years Since 'Die! Press Release Die!...' And STILL No Hyperlinks," even with all the advances in technology and social networking in the past several years, PR professionals are still sending out mass releases, without even going to the trouble of including useful links. This post follows his original post "Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die!" in which you can imagine, he discusses the failures and limitations of the ordinary press release.
In my Social Media for PR class yesterday, we discussed some of the possible reasons PR professionals would fail to include links, such a simple task for people who are involved in the internet in any way, whether it be blogging or Facebook.
We discussed how maybe PR professionals are control freaks, and by not including links in the press release, they feel as though they have more of a control on the message. We talked about the possibility of PR professionals simply being lazy, perhaps they do not feel like taking the extra 5 or 10 minutes to retrieve the url link and include it in the release. We even thought about the possibility of PR professionals worrying about competition. Maybe by not including links they think they are limiting the amount of information the recipients have access to.
None of these makes sense in explaining why PR professionals continue to send out plain old fashion press releases, as opposed to creating press releases with useful links and multimedia components. None of the PR professionals I know seem like control freaks or lazy people. I really don't understand why any PR professional would NOT use links and other multimedia components in their press release when it is now so easy to include such information. I wonder if Forenski is just over-exaggerating about the amount of "un-linked" press releases he receives, or if there really is something going on with PR professionals out there?
Whatever the case may be, sending out a "linked" press release seems easy, especially thanks to the Social Media Press Release Template. This template provides a guideline to sending out an optimized press release, full with links and multimedia components.
This new style of press release, full of quotes, multimedia, and bulleted information, is very exciting to me. I like to be able to send someone a full package of information. It helps reduce the amount of back and forth e-mails that may follow if someone actually does pick up the release. This way, they already have pretty much all of the content they need, and don't have to ask you after the fact for images and quotes. So again, why wouldn't PR professionals use this? Either Forenski's observation is exaggerated, or I'm just simply not able to detect some personality issue in PR professionals.