The Social Media Press Release- White Paper 3.0.1



For the past ten years or so, issuing a press release has been pretty straightforward. When law firms had newsworthy announcements, they issued a written press release to stand as an official record, and the press used the release as a source for stories. Then, the release was archived on a law firm’s Web site for the rest of the world to see.

But all that has changed with the advent of Web 2.0: first, the audience for press releases expanded; citizen journalists and bloggers are now mainstream. Today, a press release properly optimized for discovery by search engines will pop up on Google and Yahoo under “news,” effectively reaching journalists as well as interested clients and consumers.

At the same time, the Internet has changed the way people consume content. Instead of simply reading content, more people watch and listen to it. What’s more, with the rising importance of social networks and blogs, consumers interact with that content. They expect to be able to share and comment on things that are of interest to them. And finally, everyone expects that the information that they want and need will be delivered to them so they don’t have to go searching for it themselves.

While these changes have been taking place, the press release looks largely the same as early versions. Most law firms issue releases as well-written text documents including a contact name, a link to a law firm Web site and a downloadable photo or logo. The old format helps to drive some traffic back to law firms’ Web sites, but a simple old-fashioned press release doesn’t begin to take advantage of the new behavior the Web has engendered.

A growing group of corporations – many in the consumer products and technology sector – are adopting a newer version of the press release to optimize interaction with a cross section of audiences. They’re called Social Media Press Releases, and recently a tiny number of law firms have begun to use them as marketing too

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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