I’ve written before about the need for press releases to evolve. Yes, the formal release that some folks still cling to may be dead – but there is a growing need for social or digital media releases that distribute multi-media information to consumers and media members.
At Racepoint Group we’ve been using PitchEngine for several of our clients who are interested in distributing announcements and news via a more social, cost-effective platform. The service has been good for the most part. The free service that PitchEngine offers, in it’s most basic form, distributes social media releases that live for 30 days. The use of this platform (which gets picked-up by Google News), in addition to a release going live and living on a corporate Website, has been a good mix for most companies.
PitchEngine allows you to add images and links to video to each social media release – in addition to making it easy to share on social networks. However, despite the growth of the service (they note 14,000 brands have created thousands of releases since it launched in October 2008 ), the ability to physically embed video and other multi-media files is still a challenge. The overall feeling you get is that the text is still more important than the visual – which in this day and age seems backwards.
This is where PressLift enters the equation. The new service and platform created by Drop.io – a New York-based, social, file-sharing service – will officially launch during Social Media Week in February. However the Beta or Meta version of the Website is now live at PressLift.com. PressLift aims to be the simplest and best way share multi-media with press and consumers – all of which will be easily embeddable.
While it doesn’t appear that PressLift, will offer a “free service” – its Drop.io creator Steve Greenwood noted recently that it would be competitively priced (although not subscription-based) – the paid service may be appealing to brands and digital-minded agencies who realize the need to address a better delivery mechanism for rich content.
Unlike PitchEngine’s customizable news rooms (paid service – ($35/mo or $400/yr for standard archiving/hosting for unlimited releases), which offers a slightly customized experience (Vanity URL’s often have numbers attached, video is hard to bring in); PressLift aims to create a real customized experience that offers a real sub-domain for brands (company.presslift.com).
In fact, one way to look at PressLift is as an “informational micro-site” rather than a press release or even a press room. One of PressLift’s promises is that creating a PressLift page “is as easy as creating a Facebook page.” Will the service deliver on its promises? Time will tell. We’ve begun to try out the service in its meta form and will have more to report back over the next couple weeks.