The TwitPitch and the Social Media Press Release
Are you using the TwitPitch in your press releases? For that matter, are you using social media press releases at all?
A social media press release is a press release designed to be delivered digitally; and while every press release today should be created in a social media format, most of those that land in my in box are not.
The social media press release is structured in such a way that it can be used in any format—much like a publisher’s content, as created in Adobe’s InDesign, can emerge print-, web-, or tablet-ready. Only with the press release it’s a lot easier to create a publish once—deliver everywhere format.
A social media press release leads with the key words, phrases, and links (embedded in anchor text) in web-appropriate content clips. Those words, phrases, and links are included in the first forty words to ensure that the most important information will show up in blog post summaries, as many of your contacts will probably pick up your press release content as a blog post.
Embedded in the press release are the video clips, the audio snippets, and of course the anchor-text-supported links that can be used and forwarded or posted by the news source.
And the press release begins with a TwitPitch.
The TwitPitch is simply putting your value proposition, and your call to action, into 140 characters, while allowing room for contact information and a shortlink. Lead your press releases with it because they are then forwardable through any means out there, including the tweet.
It’s been several years since Stowe Boyd first introduced the concept of the TwitPitch, and I would say that it hasn’t caught on that hugely. I say this for a couple of reasons: first, the word ‘TwitPitch,’ or even the more articulated terms ‘Twitter Pitch’ or ‘BizTweet’ haven’t made it into Wikipedia (Stowe Boyd, what are you thinking?). Nor, indeed, has there been much discussion about it online since it made a few small waves at the time of its invention—though in late 2010 there was a little flurry of TwitPitch competitions.
I wish we saw more of those competitions; like haiku, the tweet can elicit a world of creative expression whose eloquence and humor lies in its brevity. Indeed, the greatest teaser copy from the golden age of direct mail (“Frankly, I’m puzzled”) share many of the qualities of a TwitPitch. Because the TwitPitch is social, however, and meant to be shared, it can’t afford to shamelessly self-promote (“who else wants to lose 20 pounds in 20 days?”). There are of course those random contacts who somehow make it on to one’s friends list and then drop in a tweet like that; but they get culled pretty quickly. Also, the great teasers of direct mail copy didn’t have to include links.
But for publishers that is an aside. If, like so many publishers, you have been ignoring or merely tolerating Twitter (it doesn’t bring in the traffic; it’s so much noise; we use it but we don’t see much benefit etc. etc.) then now is the time to pay attention, not only to the platform but to the skill the platform requires—the ability to convey a world of content in a few brief words.
Because the brief lead (we don’t have to link it to Twitter, to status updates, or any specific platform) is the gateway to content in mobile media; and mobile media is today’s paradigm. Email use is down 30% in the under-24 group and the reason is the upsurge of texting and Facebook, says comScore in a recent report; revenues from mobile and social media have surged 30% says PQ Media.
So whatever you want to call it, whatever you have to say, it had better lead with a thought that is catchy and valuable and textable and tweetable. In a recent blog post I mentioned that the tweet comes into its own in the mobile media age; and it isn’t Twitter that has forced this change.
The discipline required, however, to say one’s piece in a few well-chosen words is brilliantly expressed in the tweet.