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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