Everywhere I go people are asking me if I can build a Social Media Release Template for them.
Social Media News Releases are all the rage in the PR world right now. Just sending out a PDF with the basic information on it, or actually FAXING press releases to your media contacts is just not going to cut it anymore. It’s time to adjust to the market. Journalists have less and less time to get to press and they want all the information they need in one place. Now. They don’t want to have to email back and forth for days for pictures or to ask if there is any video.
Where did the idea come from?
The concept was inspired by Tom Foremski of Silicon Valley Watcher. Todd Defren and Shift Communications picked up the idea, and who better than a PR house to run with the idea and use their own tool to create a whirlwind of interest?
What makes a social media release effective?
In short, a well developed Social Media News Release will make it easier for a journalist to put together the information they need quickly, so they are more likely to run with the story. It will also provide a consumer with all the info they need in a medium they are getting more and more used to.
Social Media News releases are designed to take advantage of a number of social media distribution tools like Technorati, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon and Digg and make your release search engine friendly to boot. You can add links to your favorite bookmarking or rating sites and boost the visibility of your company to a much broader audience than traditional releases. Some sites offer rss feeds to their releases, so journalists can subscribe and instantly get the new releases as soon as you post them.
A good media release doesn’t stop at just the release itself, it reaches out and stimulates discussion, offering differnet viewpoints through varying media. You have an opportunity to take advantage of all of your social media outlets. For example, you may have images on Flickr, Videos on YouTube or a Facebook or Twitter account. Take the time to link to and from these elements with the press release. These cross links increase the probability that someone will discover one or all of the parts of the release, and hear your message. They may also start to talk about it using thise same social media tools and help start a viral marketing program you could dream of.
OK, I want one. Now what?
It’s an idea whose time has come to be sure, but for some companies building a Social Media News Release seems like a huge effort. If you don’t have the in-house talent to build a custom layout, here are links to a couple of options to get you started.
Get a free account at PRX Builder. Click a button, fill in in the blanks and voila, a Social Media Press Release.
This page has links to the API so you can run it on your website and a WordPress Plugin that allows users to build the PRX right in WordPress.
Conversation Marketing Offers an XHTML version as well, available in a zip file so you can just download it and click away.
Can we build it? YES, we can.
If you don’t want your releases to look like everybody else’s, we can easily design one specific to your needs. It’s not rocket science, but a simple layout that needs to be coded. You want a different look and feel or layout by department? You want it easy to update? Whether you are looking for an HTML page you can modify, a WordPress page or a MS Word doc you can turn into a PDF, we can do it for you.
So what are you waiting for? Get rid of your old press release and start sending a Social Media Press Release. Time to get to work.