For immediate release in 140 characters

Tweets are the new press release, and other social-media thoughts from a PR pro.
This is a guest post by Dotted Line Communications cofounder Aimee Yoon.

Michael Scott once famously said, “Chili’s is the new golf course, it’s where business happens.” While the jury is still out on that one, we in the media landscape have been observing for some time the subtle shifts in the way news is distributed and promoted.

Brands, as well as those of us in PR and marketing, run the risk of being left behind if paying attention to these new tactics is not a priority. One particular quandary is how news is released these days and on which platform. It’s so far from just a three-dog race and a press release is not always the standard delivery mechanism.

Let’s consider the options.

Tweet Tweet

Though their stock may be down, their platform is mighty — Twitter is everywhere this year. For better and worse individuals and companies are finding creative new ways to utilize it.

The key benefit of Twitter is how quickly one is able to disseminate information. Reporters are able to alert readers in real time that a big story is forthcoming, or correct an existing story.

But rapid speed and negative news or mistaken information can be… problematic.

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With the blindingly rapid pace of news these days, reporters worried about getting scooped will often tweet first, write later. Especially in rapidly progressing situations, such as a White House press briefing, political reporters can keep the public abreast of news before heading back to the keyboard.

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And then there are companies like HowGood, a client of mine that recently tweeted out some major news and scored a sweet story out of the deal.

Instagram, aka “The Happiest Place on the Internet”

If Twitter is where one goes for the quickest news, Instagram is where we like to find our sepia-toned joy. Ideal for video and visual, this is a platform best used by companies with a message people want to look at or embody.

While this approach certainly has a lot of staying power, as celebrity partners become influencers, become micro-influencers (and so on), the key here is for those of us on the PR and marketing side of the house to stay sharp. A few years ago “Social Media Marketing Manager,” was something of a joke title. Now savvy millennials are laughing all the way to the bank.

The Facebook

Oh, Facebook. Facebook is kind of like our kooky aunt (who still refers to it as “The Facebook”), and in many ways it’s become the platform for just that. However, it’s a great way to broadcast interviews and longform content to a wider audience, while still feeling much more intimate and off the cuff than a televised segment.

Tried and True

I hate to say it and maybe I’m old school but I still believe the press release wins. Nine times out of 10 when we don’t write a press release because clients want to “get the news out quickly,” we find reporters asking for one. I’m a firm believer that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Of course every situation has to be evaluated based on context and there are sure to be new platforms cropping up in the not too distant future. Whatever the platform, verifying facts before reporting and posting will always win. In the age of fake news and quick reporting it does help to authenticate facts and cover the beloved “5 Ws.”

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