Lede and link: A news release distribution model for the digital and social era


A lede and link news release disseminates a summary of an announcement containing a headline, a no-nonsense first paragraph explaining why anyone should care (the lede), and a link that funnels reporters, investors, and others to the full release.

This is distinct from the decades old traditional newswire model whereby the full release is distributed to various outlets. In so doing, the news releases issuer loses traceability and web analytics that can otherwise contain valuable insight into your audience.

Conversely, a lede and link news release syndicates a teaser via email, social media, search engine indexing, RSS feeds, or, for public companies, via the traditional wire, This brings readers to a dedicated web page hosting your news in full. This allows you to gather information such as where your audiences is coming from, who they are, how they are engaging, and what they do next (ie consider your product or service, trade a stock, or contact the organization).

Further, lede and link news releases, when hosted on a dedicated site vs. a third party aggregator, keep audiences focused on the announcement, free from distracting ads and click bait.

History


Lede and link news release came about as a confluence of four main factors:

  • Public company disclosure guidelines from the securities and exchange commission

  • The emergence of in-bound marketing to take advantage of web analytics

  • Google's algorithm changes that remove the SEO impact of traditional news release

  • Increased role of social media as a democratized source for news

The basic tenet of news releases was to syndicate your entire announcement to news room, whether by satellite, fax or electronic distribution. This model has become out of date and does not take advantage of the digital and social media era where access and distribution of news has changed and been democratized.

Future


A large, slow-moving, bureaucratic organizations like the SEC are encouraging companies to adopt modern disclosure technologies. Marketing departments are replying on web traffic data to understand and cater to their audiences. Google removed the SEO benefit of releases. Social media platforms serve as a low-cost and hyper-targeted distribution network.

Collectively, this has taken away the value of the traditional newswire distribution model outside of getting market-moving public company news posted to financial databases. As a result, the lede and link distribution model represents a more sophisticated, effective and data-driven approach to making corporate news announcements.

The adoption will continue to grow, despite the traditional newswire industry's push against the movement, which hurts their economics and their dated pay-per-work model. Companies like Google, Qulcomm, Goldman Sachs, Biogen and others use a similar approach for their most vital announcements - earnings releases - which they host exclusively on their own website. Lede and link distribution also lends itself to providing visuals, which are vital to the majority of news sites covering breaking corporate news. It is also anticipated dedicated decentralized portals will emerge as formal repositories of corporate news.