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Week Fifteen: Social Media News Releases April 25, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Topic of the Week — sarahgricius @ 8:40 PM

What is a social media news release?

A social media news release, also referred to as a smart news release, makes it possible to insert a news release with high-resolution photos/graphics, video, and audio components. With these news releases, it is also possible to be downloaded by editors to accompany the story. A social media news release will include social media tags so the content can be circulated through social bookmarking sites to increase search engine rankings of the release and to drive targeted traffic to the organization’s website. The content of a social media news releases can be created in two different ways, the first being a more traditional narrative style or be deconstructed so that the core facts, quotes, and contact details are all individually segregated to allow users to disseminate its various elements.

When should a PR practitioner use a SMNR rather than a “regular” news release?

A public relations practitioner should consider using social media news releases because of two driving forces, the changing needs of the end consumer and increasing ease of use for the media. It is important that public relation practitioners adjust their message format and delivery to correspond with the needs of today’s web savvy audience. Another factor to consider is that editorial resources at many publications are running thin and they are expected to do more with less. Therefore, with the new wave of social media news releases, public relation practitioners provide links to additional resources that are helpful for story research and they also package information into formats that are easy to use for quotes and citing references and statistics. In brief, a well written and produced SMNR will make it easier for a journalist to write the story they are given in a format that is increasingly popular with end consumers.

Three links to websites/ blogs that discuss SMNRs.

How to write a Social Media Press Release, Why, and What It All Means

Social Media Press Release Distribution- Best for social networking WiredPRNews.com

The Evolution of Social Media Press Release Distribution and Technorati Tags

Points to think about when creating a social media news release:

  1. Include links to pages where multiple instances of your key words/ phrases reinforce your message.
  2. Place terms in key positions like headlines and first paragraphs
  3. The first paragraph must summarize the five W’s (who, what, where, when, and why) because it is fact that most readers will give up if they haven’t hooked them in the first few lines.
  4. Distribute a release through a service that carries hyperlinks to downstream sites such as Yahoo! Finance, AOL News, and Netscape.
  5. Get a quote from someone who has reviewed your product or used your services.
  6. Tell the truth, and just the truth. Do not make false claims because you will get busted.
  7. Avoid saying something is “unique” or “the best”. Instead, show how people will benefit- i.e. save time, save money, make their life easier
  8. Link, link, link. Optimize links for search engine visibility. Make sure to link back to a landing page or newsroom at your website. Include links to related information at other pages on your website.
  9. Post content in multiple channels. In addition to including multimedia elements in your social media news release, post components of your release.
  10. Incorporate interactivity. Engage in a conversation with the media and customers by providing a way for them to comment or ask questions
  11. Whether using a template approach or a traditionally written press. release enhanced with multimedia and social media elements, make sure each component or section of the release can stand-alone.
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