Archive for PRCA 3330

A News Release of a New Kind: Social Media News Release

What is a Social Media News Release?

A social media news release (SMNR) is a press release format designed for the online media world. A smnr is different from a regular press release because the smnr is created in a format relevant to not only the press but to journalists, bloggers, publishers, and the public at large.  A smnr includes contact information, bookmarks, web links, and the latest news.

 In 2006, Tom Foremski’s blog, Die! Press Release! Die! Die! Die!, first supported the move towards smnr. His blog as you can tell by the title suggested why smnr’s are the future for press releases. Foremski’s blog inspired Todd Defren to produce the first smnr using Shift Communications.

Years after that first smnr, there are now numerous websites for creating smnr’s. Some websites are free to join while some may cost money. The different sites provide for smnr creation include: PRweb.com, PR-squared.com, and Realwire.com. These sites give organizations and companies a place to create and distribute their own smnr’s.

Loads of companies and organizations are creating smnr’s to give information about themselves and events using multimedia. A company that has made use of smnr’s is Ford Motor Company. Ford’s smnr contains a photo gallery, links to products, links to cars, and other news links that correlate to Ford. Ford also added links to its social networks to stay connected with different visitors even while away from the smnr. The Ford smnr is very interactive and user-friendly in my opinion.

Advantages of SMNR

There are many reasons as to why Ford Motor Co. and various other companies utilize smnr’s:

  • SMNR’s are optimized for search, conversation, and sharing of information
  • SMNR’s use multimedia to tell the entire story (makes the story more understandable for viewers)
  • They provide context for complex stories (more easily explains a difficult story to viewers)
  • They are better visual impressions than a “wire release”

It is no wonder why smnr’s are taking over the scene once overcome by press releases.  Yet with every advantage there are always disadvantages.

Disadvantages of SMNR’s

After a long search for the dark side about social media news releases, I finally found one woman, Rebecca Corliss that could vouch for not only the pros of smnr’s but the cons as well.

  • Some portal sites don’t accept certain formatting such as italics, bold, or bullets.
  • Some portal sites can’t handle certain multimedia (instead you may try to link to a place on your website.)
  • Some portal sites aren’t compatible with anchor text and full url’s (you may want to use a simple written structure for your url’s.)

Though these are mainly disadvantages due to portal sites, they can cause many problems for your company’s or organization’s smnr. You should always plan accordingly for any such inconveniences or problems.

How to Tips to Create a Social Media Release

When creating your own smnr, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your release is web ready.

  1. Be sure your headline is eye-catching for everyone (bloggers, journalists, publishers, and the general public.)
  2. Keep your story straightforward and direct (your story will more than likely be dissected anyway, so keep it simple without unneccessary spins.)
  3. Provide a great deal of links inside the release (including: links to relevant web stories and pictures, links for the social networks your company is linked to, and links to sites that would benefit your business.)
  4. Provide pages of quotes from CEO’s, other upper level executives, analysts, and customers (provide pages for as many as possible if not all are applicable.)
  5. Provide financial information in as many forms as possible (just in case a specific form may not work for the audience.)

A PR practitioner should use a smnr when want to disseminate information in a more creative style then just an old-fashioned news release. If a practitioner wants to reach out to more than just the press with their information the smnr is the way to go.  A practitioner uses a smnr to get more participation from web users and to promote openness with his or her company. Using a smnr is a great choice if you want your publics to have an interactive learning experience using multimedia about your company.

        

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