Personally, I am always bored with Press Release which I think is full of plain text and very web 1.0 style (no interactions). We know digital social marketing is getting pretty hot nowadays, so how do you think of PR 2.0?

One solution we found to this is PitchEngine. It was created last year by Jason Kintzler a veteran in traditional PR and now will start its operation in China, led by Prof. Lonnie B Hodge, CEO of CultureFish Media (CFM).  Jason said he had seen several failed attempts to create a Social Media release tool that could be used by new adopters of technology. None of the services he investigated seemed interactive or user friendly enough so he created one. PitchEngine makes it possible for PR pros, brands, and agencies to build and share digital, social media releases with their contacts for free.

Using the online tools offered by PitchEngine, everyone can build a press release easily with zero or very low cost. Once the releases are built, they are indexed within minutes in Google News. Unlike traditional press release service, PitchEngine allows the readers to comment on the releases and it also integrates with social media service such as Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook etc. Each release can be easily submitted to those social media platforms to reach huge number of audience. (Check out a sample release I created which is easy job indeed.)

CultureFish Media (CFM) is based in Guangzhou and focus on Social Media, Localization, CSR, PR and SEO work in China’s digital space. Since CFM is now the Asian arm of PitchEngine, I asked Lonnie how he’s going to pitch Chinese local social media. He said, “PitchEngine will be completely localized for China in a few days and easy for even newcomers to the web to operate. Releases can be written in Chinese and Google automatically picks them up and releases them in the areas most appropriate. Baidu and other engines, of course, give priority to Chinese language listings, but best practice SEO, honest backlinks and good content will always drive a keyword or site to the top of the listings.”

Talking about Social Media in China, some people think it actually is in China for a long while as we have BBS which plays very important part of Chinese internet life, some think it is also hard for social media to compete with mainstream media because of the portals and media control in China. As a social media expert, Lonnie gave us his opinion:

“There are no insurmountable hurdles, only exciting challenges and opportunities on the road to digital success in China. China is the most exciting market we work in because the use of the Internet is so different here: gaming, messaging and BBS interactions have unique Chinese use patterns unike that of any other geographical or cultural marketplace in the world. I do consulting for a lot of US companies and fund managers looking to invest in the Chinese Internet. Invariably their main concern is the risk involved in advertising via portals that might be closed down or adversely affected by  governmental rather than market forces. I don’t see this as a cause for worry. where companies should be investing time and energy is in involving mainland developers, marketers and media specialists in any China campaigns. Most businesses rely on Hong Kong and Singapore or large out of touch advertising agencies to manage campaigns that really require strong internal relationships with ISP managers, Bulletin Board key players, and native market analysts with a broad knowledge of the multitude of geographical tastes and preferences in a country with 56 ethnic groups using hundreds of regional dialects. “

The launch party of PitchEngine Asia, PR Optimisation Workgroup will be held next week. “Alvin Chiang, Marketing Director for Xiaonei, will be one of the speakers. We are both interested in maturing the South China market and helping local businesses and webmasters understand how to integrate Chinese Web 2.0, PR 2.0 and Social Media platfroms for maximum return on their advertising and SEM budgets”, Lonnie added.