Amazon Press Release New Twist for Twitter

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Amazon last week distributed a press release for its new Kindle reader in a series of 14 separate tweets, each plugging a different aspect of the new product. Sure, it’s innovative. But is it valuable for PR?

With consumers increasingly conditioned to bite-sized content, putting out a press release via 14 tweets is a shrewd move, and it will be interesting to see if other brands follow Amazon’s lead.

The trick is how to break up the contents of a press release—normally packaged into one page—into separate tweets.

It’s hard to gauge whether the content featured in Amazon’s tweets have been disseminated similar to a traditional press release, with an inverted pyramid, meaning the most salient information is included in the lead paragraph.

(Amazon distributed a traditional press release on its own website and Business Wire, but the release simply enumerates the content that was included in the 14 tweets.)

Each tweet features a declarative sentence, such as: “High performance—3x faster processor, 4x faster GPU, 2x the memory. #firehdx.”

Each tweet also includes the hashtag #firehdx. Is the hashtag a substitute for a contact working in Amazon PR department? It’s hard to say, which might make it problematic for media reps who might want to speak to a person at Amazon about the new Kindle.

Indeed, the tweets have a decidedly icy feel to them and could have included a zippy quote or two from one of Kindle’s senior managers regarding the product’s consumer benefits.

The traditional press release, of course, often includes a Dickensian-like quote from the CEO that doesn’t really bring anything to the table. But at least it’s an attempt to humanize what might otherwise be a pretty banal exercise.

Amazon could have done that and gotten the best of both worlds: Inserting a quote from a manager putting a “face” on its message, without making readers’ eyes glaze over because the quote is limited to just 140 characters.

But it’s early days for the Twitter press release. We’re betting there will be new variations soon enough.

What do you think the future holds for the Twitter press release?

Follow Matthew Schwartz: @mpsjourno1

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About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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  • @imsocialsavvy

    I’m surprised the Twitter press release hasn’t made its debut a lot sooner. Kudos to Amazon for giving it a shot. I think future variations of the tweet release must hold steadfast to the culture of social media. In order to be viable, the tweet release must find a way to translate pertinent information in a creative and casual way.