Crowdsourcing a Press Release

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As a Web AddiCT I’m continually learning and experimenting with various forms of digital marketing. When attempting more old school marketing techniques, like compiling and distributing a press release, I was a little clueless and naturally turned to Google for answers. Performing queries like ‘how to write a press release’ and ‘key elements of a press release’ did help. press only Crowdsourcing is classically defined as distributed problem-solving and production model. In the classic use of the term, problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers in the form of an open call for solutions. Users—also known as the crowd—submit solutions. Solutions are then owned by the entity that broadcast the problem in the first place—the crowdsourcer. The contributor of the solution is, in some cases, compensated either monetarily, with prizes, or with recognition. In other cases, the only rewards may be kudos or intellectual satisfaction. Crowdsourcing may produce solutions from amateurs or volunteers working in their spare time, or from experts or small businesses which were unknown to the initiating organization. Sharing my learning journey one evening in the form of tweets the following emerged

8 Point Press release Checklist:

  1. Product’s positioning, key features, and benefits to end users.
  2. Include a customer and, or analyst quote
  3. Include a quote from the president of your company /me
  4. Include pricing and availability information.
  5. Include contact information for press to receive additional information.
  6. Capture the reader’s attention with the headline… Would you retweet that?
  7. Only issue press releases that are newsworthy.
  8. Define Target Press List. – Any journos reading this want to play along?

Adhering to the above I pieced together 400 words on Google Drive and shared it with some bloggers and journos for feedback, they get many releases every day, they’d know what would or wouldn’t work. timeslive sci tech popularThe next morning iMod & Carblog picked it up. Times Live published something in sci-tech entitled “South African tech helps get your drivers license faster” which become the second most popular story on 5 July 2012. More popular than Higgs Boson/God particle. And. Thanks to @Sarietha @RubyGold & @art2gee the press release was now out of beta 🙂 A day later I received the following email from SAfm’s Monique Stander…

Good day, I trust that you are well. I hope you can assist. We would love to schedule a telephonic interview with Rafiq Phillips tomorrow morning (Saturday 7th July) at 09h45 regarding iDRIVE.co.za. It would be much appreciated. Looking forward to your response. Monique:)

She read a about the story on Biz Community who syndicates some of Times Live’s content. A little later My Digital Life and Gadget.co.za also published a story based on the release. Saturday morning I then shared the iDRIVE.co.za idea in a radio interview with Mandla Shongwe on SAfm. All because of crowd-sourcing a press release on twitter using a Google document. All of this was free. My free time, free web-based services, free advice and support from the free minds on twitter. The above activities an immediate impact on direct traffic (up 38%) and referral traffic (up 53%) compared to last week. There are also 4 new driving schools who are in the process of joining 🙂 Imagine what the power of crowdsourcing would have on your business if the various departments that are usually treated as silos spoke to each other. Moral of the story if that communication between individual s works to solve problems big and small. Also, celebrate the small victories and… measure your success This isn’t the end of the story but so much has happened, unexpectedly, in such a short time. Thank you crowdsourcing. Thank you twitter. Version 1.0 of the release eventually got published in the public timeline here today.