Those of you who have been following the technical PR industry for some time will no doubt remember the advent of the Web 2.0 press release back in 2005. This idea promised a press release format optimised for direct to customer communications; the panacea of the era. 

In reality, the Web 2.0 press release was actually just a press release with a whole bunch of links in it. (For those of you who don’t remember, here’s a template of what a Web 2.0 release was supposed to look like.)

Clearly, there are some good ideas in this and some of my regular readers will recognise that I still use some of them. I still include plenty of embedded links in releases for instance and I never issue a release without an RSS feed built in. But is it really necessary to include a purpose built Delicious page or a Podcast in every single story? Some of these ideas now look as archaic as they then did exciting.

However, one fundamental remains the same. That is that press releases are now for journalists and customers and have been for the best part of half a decade. The latter group will find them on the Internet; they are there forever whether you like it or not. So, it makes sense to produce releases that provide both what your customer wants and what the journalist wants. There is no panacea for direct to customer communications, and the Web 2.0 press release certainly isn’t it, but there will always be careful and considered communications. So, if your releases are still built as if 2005 hasn’t happened yet, it might be time to consider a change.

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