Canada Newswire (CNW) is one of the leading agencies in Canada for distributing press releases and other information to the newsrooms of the country. At one point (before my time in the biz, I'm sure) CNW did this by mailing out releases. When I started in the biz, CNW might fax stuff to your newsroom. Then, as Internet access became as ubiquitous as telephone access in the country's newsrooms (you'd be surprised, I might add, how long it took for some newsroom managers to discover the benefits of Internet access for their reporters), CNW put releases up on its Web site and eventually let you sign up for e-mail distribution of companies or sectors you wanted to watch.
Now CNW is taking the step — and it's one that bloggers and users of various social software tools, like Facebook, Twitter and the like, may find useful. It just launched a service called “Social Media Release” that builds on a traditional press release by providing audio and visual materials in addition to harnessing various social software tools that let users annotate, share, and build on the information provided by the CNW client.
CNW's own release about these new services says, “”Social Media Release” takes the four basic platforms; print, audio, video and Internet, and gives customers access to a host of new, online news distribution features. It not only expands the reach of a standard press release into online channels, it increases visibility among more traditional media by providing features such as pre-approved quotes, links to related content, two-way conversations via a comment box, etc.”
Importantly, I think, a CNW executive says these new ways of moving a message around on behalf of corporate clients is supplement to, not a replacement for, traditional forms of distributing news releases.
I am told, by-the-by, that these innovations were not bells-and-whistles added by CNW so it could charge additional fees to its clients but were added largely at the request of some CNW's biggest clients who were keen to find ways to bypass/supplement traditional forms of reaching media, shareholders, and other stakeholders.
But enough blathering here — go check it out.