The Evolution of Press Releases

April 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm (Comm 4333 Topics of the week)

What is so great about a social media news release?
A social media news release is a tool to help the journalist to sift through the “fluff” that Public Relations professionals like to doctor up their press releases with, and find the hard facts so they might use the data. The value of the social media news release is naturally increasing in value because many professionals are beginning to take a look at capabilities and the results that they develop.(Information was taken from this webinar) Great thing about this, is that it cuts the work in half for those who choose to cover your story. What is good for them is certainly good for you.

The biggest disadvantage of using the internet for news releases, is that not all of your targeted audience is internet savvy, and if they are, then they might not prefer to read their news online.(quality press releaser) This is a shame considering how effective social media press releases have been. It is important to evaluate your market and cater to their needs.
The information you include in a news release about your organization is not meant to be a detailed narrative that paints a picture for the journalists. We all know that the number one complaint from journalists is a bunch of persuasive writing in press releases. It’s the journalists’ job to spin the information in whatever way fits in their story, not PR professionals.
I would like to identify the main goal of a social media news release is the same of a normal press release, with an addition of broadcasting the content to the social media scene in an effort to reach out to the new wave of tech savvy audience. It’s important to imbed content onto blog posts and to link to pages with more information about your topic. This is the best way to use all your information to craft the perfect story for your target audience.

Tag away!

(Taken from the infamous Die! Press Release! Die! Die! Die!)
Help out the reporter to gather more information about your topic than given in one particular news release and tag like crazy in your news release. Tag recent share price, founders, first quarter revenues, analyst quotes etc.  The great thing about tagging information is that there is no way for a PR professional to spin the story because they are tagging pure facts about the topic. This is one reason why journalists and bloggers are more apt to cover your story. When we quit trying to sell our idea, they’ll actually pay attention (when done right).

Have a try at it

Here are a few tips on how to create your own social media news release.

  • You want to give your audience the ability to click on your links to get more information, be able to watch useful videos, have access to extra contact information in the boilerplate, click on external media links, subscribe to the RSS feed etc. Have this information in the news release to cover all your bases.
  •  Offer a “Sphere It” link. Sphere offers readers a chance to look at related news from the blogosphere and mainstream news sources. (taken from this website)
  • There are many names for the social media news release including media press release, social media release etc. Instead of trying to appeal to a journalist to get your content covered, the social media news releases are geared toward journalists, bloggers, podcasters and most importantly consumers. Your content needs to make sense to all of them. (This information was very helpful taken from this website)
  • There is a lot of room for change in the template for the social media news release. There is no guideline that things need to be in any particular order, format, color scheme etc. However there are some suggestions such as using bullet points to help to quickly identify main information, or using pictures to give your readers an idea of what you are portraying.
  • Also, be very careful about what you put out there. A great idea could backfire and turn into negative publicity because you may have misrepresented yourself. Make sure to read your audience very well and reposition your content so that it appeals to the greater public.
If you need help try this template, or this template. To create your own social media news release visit pitchengine or realwire. You’ll find ways to distribute all your interesting information through these two websites. It’s great to link, but whenever possible just embed images and videos on the social media news release. Use your best judgement on overcrowding.
If you would like to check out one of Apple inc. social media news releases check out this link.
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