Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Chris Heuer is the project lead: Signups for the new media press release (really!)

Posted by Tom Foremski - June 30, 2006

I've been working with the PR industry to figure out a better way to create press/news releases that are more useful to reporters and others, in this multi-media channel world we live in. Why limit press releases to the standard text only format and with only one link, or none?

We need a vehicle that can easily integrate podcasts, vidcasts, text, and company information that is labelled and tagged so that the right information can quickly be pulled together. We have the technologies to do that, to partly preassemble the information needed in preparing a news story.

The key, however, is to have all the PR agencies and media/comms departments in corporations to agree to a baseline standard new media press release format. We need to make sure that everyone uses the same labels/tags for things like "company founded date" or "CEO today said" etc. And agrees on other aspects of the format.

To help things along I've agreed to offer a neutral third party platform. The PR companies are very competitive and won't take the lead from each other and so we will end up with a tower of babel of different labels/tags and different formats, and we won't be much better off than before.

I've found someone with the ideal abilities to coordinate this new media press release project, Chris Heuer. Chris knows the business world, he knows the marcoms world and he knows the geek world. He's a new media renaissance man and he has agreed to coordinate this project.

I have already received many requests from people to join me in this project, and I will pass those onto Chris but please sign up again just in case. And anyone else that wants to be involved please join this discussion newsgroup.

Chris will choose the collaborative technologies we'll use to take this project further. By the way there was a nice write up about the new press release in BusinessWeek and Shift Communications' efforts, Julie Crabill and Todd Defren in pushing things forward.

Richard Edelman, head of the largest independent PR agency in the world is a strong supporter of the new media press release. Winning the support of global giants such as Edelman is key because it validates this new approach to communications. Edelman and the other giants such as Ogilvyetc have the muscle, and the influence to educate companies and individuals on how best to communicate in a multiplicity of media worlds and communities.

What will be interesting is how the PR companies and others, use the new media press release format to differentiate themselves; how they make the content compelling and available in a multiplicity of media; and how successful they are in explaining to their clients the need for new ways of communicating. Here is Chris Heuer to explain more.


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