Content Chunking for Channels

Content chunking? A rather clunky phrase we use to describe breaking up your content for a press release or when promoting an important story about your business online. It helps when your building a story for release, to think of where you might be placing that story on various Web channels or how a press release might be broken up into fragments by bloggers or journalists or when “tweeted.”

Pick Up 2.0: These two words used to mean a reporter/journalist/editor at a newspaper/radio/TV got your story and then ran it or called for an interview. It still does, and that’s still important. But today it also means a blogger or regular citizen might send your story over Twitter or via their blog.

The Importance of the Headline: If it was important pre-Social Media then it’s even more important today. As you write a headline today, it’s not just to get the editors attention, you also want it to be “tweetable” on Twitter or a similar network. If its a good story, then be sure it can spread with a kicker headline.

The Content Chunks: Which brings us to the concept of “chunking” in that we have found that a press release or story should be written in a way that it can be broken down into chunks of content. Some blogs may only refer to a paragraph in the release or you may only be able to write a paragraph on some news seeding sites (i.e. newsvine). You may want to have a short bit for a Facebook company or group page or your LinkedIn company page.

The key is to know where you regularly “seed” your content from a press release or story and ensure the content can be adapted to each of the services you use. On average, we’ll “seed” a press release for clients to over 15 different online sources within relevant services. Yes, it adds work and puts ever more onus on the writer of the release, but it can help with SEO and generally getting to more of the right eyeballs wherever they may be in this vast media channel world.

The Biggest Hurdle for Public Relations

One word: Attention.

Basic economic theory states that when you create a wealth of one thing, it creates scarcity of another. In the case of modern day media it’s a wealth of channels and a scarcity of attention. For the most part today, we “snack” on media. We consume when we’ve set aside our attention to watch a movie or a whole TV show or listen to a full broadcast of a radio show.

On the Web we mostly snack. The most effective bloggers have posts no more than 300 words.

Public Relations practitioners have always fought for our attention. But today that’s harder than ever. So many channels. And consumption changes by channel. Twitter is “grazing” while Blogs are a quick bag of crisps and Facebook is a cup of coffee and a cookie.

If the “story” starts as a press release and media advisory, backed by the press kit or background kit, then it will need to break into many little pieces as it goes out into all of the various media channels. Each snippet hopefully getting the right readers attention.

It might follow then that the second biggest hurdle is then getting your audience to act on the information they’ve received.