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February 6, 2012
Press Releases Cross the Digital Divide
 
Press releases are becoming increasingly electronic and delivered by digital means rather than by mail, fax, or hand. Deb McAlister-Holland, marketing director for Distribion, Inc., provides the fullest expression of this trend that we've seen. Deb sends out press releases on her company's content marketing blog posts, with amazing results in terms of exposure and distribution. And she includes a unique photo or graphic with each release. "I'm a true believer now," Deb writes.

"In more than nine months at my job," Deb adds, "I haven't made a single phone call to an editor, attended a single press event, or done anything else that even smacks of the PR skills I have no time to use. I don't have a PR firm. The only thing I've done is post SEO-optimized press releases on a single service that sencs the releases with an emial cover note to journalists, bloggers and and analysts in their database."

We don't note all this to taunt PR colleagues, but to observe that a sea change is underway in terms of digital communication. PR people need to figure out how best to reposition themselves in this new media environment. 

For her part, after doing distribution testing that confirmed her digital instincts, Deb advises that:

"...I stopped testing, and started writing a press release for every piece of content I wanted to promote. In fact, whenever I post new content, I write four things:

"1. The new content itself (starting with a catchy headline, followed by an outline, followed by the SEO-optimized content).

"2. The press release.

"3. A series of 5-7 tweets.

"4. An abstract for sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon."

And so the new age dawns.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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