The most obvious use of Instagram Direct for PR professionals

A recent study by SHIFT partner Cision highlights that 1 in 4 journalists would prefer to be contacted via social media channels. 81% of journalists use social networks for sourcing their news, and nearly half receive their first source of information from organizations, companies, and brands.

One of the most powerful features of Instagram Direct is the 15 second limitation on video length. Unlike the average press release filled with paragraphs of corporate boilerplate and self-congratulatory language, Instagram Direct and its rich media messaging cousins demands brevity. A journalist receiving a pitch via Instagram Direct knows the exact time investment needed to listen to the pitch: 15 seconds for video, and a quick glance for a photo. If it’s not of interest, it won’t take 10 minutes to slog through.

For PR professionals, this requires a change of thinking in the pitching process. How tightly can you convey a pitch? Can you summarize enough to pique the interest of a journalist or influencer in just 15 seconds? Think less in terms of cramming the entire press release into 15 seconds and more in terms of voicemail – what would you say in a short voicemail message left on the phone that would get someone to call you back?

Whatever you do try, just don’t do this:

The only thing worse than a press release filled with meaningless corporate jargon is trying to cram corporate jargon into other channels.

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology

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Posted on December 13, 2013 in Public Relations, Social Media, Strategy

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change. Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim. He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero.
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