The Press Release of the Future

Last Updated Apr 29, 2008 12:25 PM EDT

The proposed merger between Delta and Northwest Airlines has already produced one visionary byproduct: the press release of the future.

That's the word from Harvard Online blogger Scott Berinato, who drools over the effectiveness of this joint announcement, which is not so much press release as communications center.

Think of it as a mini-site, or temporary site, almost like a booth at a trade show. It's a combination of marketing, investor relations, and customer service. The content here is meant to answer all of the questions from any of the merger's stakeholders.
What works? The content is exhaustive, addressing topics ranging from will current employees lose their jobs to how service will change in each state the airlines fly. Berinato also points to the well designed mutimedia presentation, which includes text, graphics, and video.

"The airlines make a stronger case for merger with this site than they ever could with an investor conference call, traditional press release and a 30-second TV spot combined," concludes Berinato.

  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.