Social Media News Releases (SMNR)

with 2 comments

Another new and exciting discovery this week:  Pressitt for Social Media news releases

Well, I suppose there would be limited enthusiasm for my find if you work outside of a communications fields – and for those who do work within these field this is probably old news.  But at the risk of preaching to the converted – the Social Media News Release is a must for anyone responsible for communicating with a large audience.    

Modern day public relations is leaning away from the old fashioned press release with its ’stilted’ quotations that isn’t really trusted by journalists (did anyone say ‘spin’?).  The old fashioned press release is no longer relevant to today’s multimedia format of broadcast.

It isn’t just journalists you need to engage now  – it is bloggers and ‘citizen journalists’ as well.  Take for example the community organisation I work for.  We very rarely get into the main stream press (we aren’t controversial enough).  We sometimes get into the sector press (where relevant).  The main people picking up our communciations messages and relaying them are the bloggers, social reporters, tweeters etc who work in, or take an interest in, our area of work.

If you want to know more about the power of citizen journalism and the web in self organising and spreading messages / content then I strong advise that you read Clay Shirkey’s ‘Here Comes Everybody’ which discusses this topic.  You can also find more of Clay’s writings here.

Which was the reason I walked out of the LCCI Public Relations course I attended a few weeks back:  The tutor didn’t entertain any notion of online PR, (in fact he spoke about using fax machines for press releases – unbelieveable)  Now I am no PR expert – having concentrated my studies way back on the general marketing side of things alongside event management and general communications – everything I know PR wise has been picked up through experience.  But its still a sad day when you attend a course designed to ‘top up’ your knowledge and you know more than the tutor.

Anyway a bit of a digression…

A “Social Media News Release” is more accessible for bloggers and ‘citizen journalists’ than a traditional press release, as it includes embeddable video, images or audio, lists social bookmarking buttons (helping your message ‘go viral’), and lists the relevant tags / hashtags to enable people to keep abrest of developments of that particular story.  

So platforms such as Pressitt are useful when you are just getting started with the Social Media Press Release as it helps you create, publish and release your SMNR.  Providing pre-formatted templates that you can ‘drop’ your links, video, audio, twitter stream etc into, Pressitt is free and easy to use.

Of course, if you have a list of emailable contacts and your own template that you can use, you probably won’t see a good reason to use platforms like Pressitt. 

However you decide to create and release your SMNR I would recommend that you keep the following in mind:

  1. Make sure the information is accessible:  if you are embedding video, audio etc – make sure it is easy for a blogger or citizen journalist to ‘grab’ and embed into their own site. 
  2. Use tags / hashtags:  This will help track the progress of your message, who is using it, who is forwarding it etc.  For more information about what a tag is click here 
  3. Make sure your SMNR is going to the right audience – this is where platforms like Pressitt can be useful, but you should also perhaps look at building your own contact list of relevant people.

More about Pressitt >>>

You can also find out a little more about the Social Media News Releases via the video below.  Warning: This is a bit of a sales pitch for the organisation Webit PR (the services of whom I am not endorsing), but it is good for a general overview / summary of the points above.


Written by Lores

July 14, 2009 at 9:13 am

2 Responses

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  1. He actually said to use a fax machine? Dude, what era is he from? Do they actually use that medium for press releases?


    July 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm

  2. I think they used to once upon a time.

    I think we have a fax machine someone in our building…probably covered in cobwebs somewhere. Very odd.

    The tutor was 190 years old though…could have been the reason why…

    Still though.


    July 15, 2009 at 3:13 pm

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