5 Questions on the Future of the Press Release

By Patrick Coffee Comment

Everyone has an opinion about press releases. Depending on who you ask, they’re either DOA or — if you consult Google — increasingly relevant to today’s pressed-for-time consumer.

There’s no doubt, however, that the old school text-only release is evolving. For more on that topic, we spoke to Anna Campellini, head of strategy at Vizy — an Italian company that literally crowdsources multimedia press releases.

Here, for example, is a “video release” created last December to promote the release of client BlackBerry’s new “classic” model.

You’d be forgiven for confusing this clip with a paid-placement ad, but it was simply a component of the media kit that accompanied the product. Vizy creates video releases for clients by calling upon “creators” or mostly amateur filmmakers around the world.

Some facts:

  • 80 percent of online viewers will watch an entire video, while only 20 percent will read a given piece of “content” all the way through
  • The average “half life” of a traditional release is 9 days. The same stat for multimedia releases is approximately 40 days.

From Campellini:

1. Is the traditional press release really dead?

In terms of a one-to-all communication, it is not dead but dying. In a world focused on collaboration, content is increasingly created using different voices and different tools.

2. What are clients requesting of you in terms of releases? 

They want content that informs and engages at the same time — and that can be fit into different contexts by the publisher depending on the editorial material that will exist around it.

3. What determines the success of each piece of content you create?

Because we utilize a wide crowd of “creators” around the world, we can shape the message to have a style and tone of voice that are consistent with not only the brand but the places where the pieces may be published.

That’s the key to success.

4. How has the relationship between clients and content makers like yourself changed?

Video crowdsourcing is a disruptive way of producing content that still needs to be explained, but clients with a particular passion for innovation have been receptive.

It’s all about developing that relationship.

5. What will the term “press release” mean in 10 years?

It will become native content completely consistent with the environment in which it’s published.

Viewers will be increasingly less able to distinguish “releases” from standard media.

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