Every day I talk to clients about the same thing: how to make their digital press release more effective.  That part is easy—we are absolutely married to the idea that if you give highly targeted journalists and bloggers a good release and add the info (images, video, links, quotes, facts, etc) that makes covering a story easier and more interesting, you’ll get better pick-up.  It is the golden rule of PR: treat journalists as they want to be treated.  I love that part (especially all the great success stories I hear from our clients!) 

What is complicated about these ongoing conversations with clients is remembering how their organization or PR firm refers to digital releases.  The semantics vary from IPK (internet press kit) to MNR (multi-media news release) to EPK (electronic press kis) to NMR (new media release) to SMNR (social media news release) to simply ekit.  Honestly, it’s exhausting (and frankly, the cognitive dissonance makes me need another cup of coffee)!

Are all those things exactly the same?  No, not really.  But there is an awful lot of overlap.  As has been noted by many digital release advocate savvier than little old me, EPKs/IPKs/MNRs/SMNRs/NMRs can sometimes replace, and more often compliment, traditional releases, reaching new audiences or simply enhancing efforts with more traditional audiences.  Here’s a run down of the differences, incredibly over simplified in part because they are used a bit differently by different people:

EPK (electronic press kit), IPK (internet press kit) and ekit refer to multi-media, HTML release delivered to journalists via email.  They range from barely to highly branded.  The terms EPK and IPK are also used to refer to the type of press kit (loaded with images, backgrounders, press clippings, etc.) often found in an on-line newsroom.  EPK also refer to on-line kits used by music execs to get their audio to stations and other interested parties.  EPK/IPK/ekit vendors are often web designers and charge hourly or on a project basis. 

MNR (multi-media news release) refers to digital releases that have multi-media components: embedded video, audio, images, etc.  Although generally HTML, they are not necessarily delivered via email and are rarely highly branded. MNR vendors tend to price by word and multi-media element.

SMNR (social media news release), SMR (social media release) NMR (new media release) and the recently profered DMR (Digital Media Resource) refer to releases that have multi-media components and are social media enabled with bookmarks, keyword clouds, RSS feeds, trackback links, etc.  They are often written in a transparent, often bullet point, format with a section of facts, quotes and other useful info—basically the raw data, minus spin, journalists and bloggers need to write a story.  They are designed to be very blogger friendly, move across the web rapidly and reach past traditional audiences.  (If you haven’t already read it, you should check out Tom Foremski’s article, Die! Press release!  Die! that really started this whole movement.  And, for the comprehensive run down on SMNRs try here.)

So here’s what we do: HTML releases designed to be very email friendly, delivered directly to targeted journalists (and bloggers with permission), loaded with multi-media content–unlimited video, images, audio–and often made more web friendly using bookmarks, SEO, and (hopefully) associated blogs (if I can talk some clients into that one soon!).    You can see our work here and here and here (this could go on all day!).  Since we are basically email experts, we sometimes use proven email tactics, such as segmentation or personalization, to deliver better results to our clients and believe a little email expertise offers a new angle for PR professionals.  In other words, we have elements of all the above but also offer a bit of a twist.

So what do we call our own product?  Honestly, up until this point we have used language that reflects the client in front of us at that moment.  I have been juggling many of these acronyms for nearly five years now and PWR just turned two; we are getting more clients every day and can no longer keep track of so many damn letters.  Yes folks, it’s time we committed, tied the knot.  So who we going to marry?  Drumroll please…

We hereby declare that from this day forth, for better or for worse (unless we change our minds), our fabulous products shall be referred to (by us at least) as New Media Releases.  It isn’t a perfect fit (what marriage is?) but we think it captures the general idea of what we believe: traditional release delivery methods are out of date with the new media world and New Media Releases (there, I did it) deliver better results precisely because they let PR professionals focus on the elements that would improve the story they’re working on; a little video here, a little spanish translation there and a whole lot of images everywhere.  Although not yet as robust in the social media components as some SMR experts are advising, we agree that a more social media savvy approach can enhance the product and are working with clients on adding those elements for appropriate projects.

So call us the New Media Release folks because New Media Releases are us.  And that seems like as good an idea as any to write my first blog about.  (I mean after all, how often does one get married?)

Any marital advice?