Here’s the long and short of it: there are no rules with online media.
Sure, take a moment to digest that because it goes against just about everything we’re typically conditioned to think. We’re used to “best practices” and guidelines. Think about it in terms of traditional media where there are a wide variety of rules & guidelines. For instance, typically newspaper articles are a few hundred words in length; for television outlets the news department always tries to find a local angle on a story; while in the land of radio stories are usually told these days by a reporter, often syndicated, that at best feature a quick sound bite. And accordingly, with each of these different arenas there are certain rules of the game if you will for for gaining traction for your particular story; however in the online space we have a blank platform through which to tell our stories.
This platform extends beyond the simple press release or website, but today expands into the mobile space and allows any organization to create rich media that is on-message and helps to tell its story. This is vastly powerful space – organizations can now share video of their events, conversations with executives, and insights from their latest research with global audiences with ease. A pretty powerful development that has come of age in the last few years, but as organization’s go to implement these types of tools they are often faced with questions in regard to the “right” way to do things…which is where we enter new & uncharted territory.
That said, the online space brings with it a double-edged sword because on one hand there are no rules, and on the other hand well, there are no rules. Since there are no right or wrong way ways to leverage this space, it is most important that you think strategically about how to integrate these outreach efforts, how to brand them accordingly, and how to keep them professional and polished – just like you would do with any other piece of marketing collateral.
The bottom line is online space can be a powerful new venue to tell your story. While there aren’t any rules per se, you’ll be able to think of plenty of new ways to include these types of options in your PR & marketing plans, and find opportunities to leverage your efforts and tell your stories.