I am an old PR salt in today’s world in that I remember sending out my first press releases the old fashion way, the US Postal Service. Yes there was a few that were faxed but for most of my first 12 years out of school releases involved the tedious process of printing, collating, stapling, attaching photos or slides, running labels and getting it ready to be fed into the postal machine.
I remember the first time I used email was in 1993 when I was working for a software company and we purchased an MCI Mail account to use for press releases only. Most of the major software publication editors were on the network and it could even fax and paper mail the release to those who were not. Although it still took about the same amount of time the first few releases, it was an amazing breakthrough. No more spending hours at the copier, last minute changes were a breeze, I only had to change the text file versus rerunning 100+ copies!
Over the past 12 years I have used online services to distribute my releases and have been very pleased with the service. It places my release on major search engines as well. But with the advent of Web 2.0 technologies do I still need a wire service?
Using Twitter and other social networks I’ve identified and connected with the major opinion leaders, journalists, bloggers and other technology evangelists that I want to communicate with. True they may not click on the link on my tweet or blog post but the same is true for a release link or alert that comes to their email, or even a paper or faxed release. Does anyone even do hardcopy releases any more outside of a press kit or tradeshow?
Also the ability to directly email web sites that post business news has allowed marketing professionals the ability to blast their releases directly to the site editor or enter the release and submit for approval. Of course it depends on your audience to some degree. If you need to get the attention of the general public then putting your release on the wire will allow it to be seen by many smaller news outlets in addition to the major ones that require follow up calls.
How are you using Twitter to extend your PR reach? Are you still using wire services as well?