What is a Social Media Release (aka Social Media Press Release, Social Media News Release, SMR, SMNR)
Robin Good has written the most comprehensive history, review and comparison of SMR's that I have found. The following definition is taken from his post ...
The Social Media Press Release is an evolved approach to preparing press releases characterized by a multimedial and facts-oriented approach. The typical social media press release integrates video clips, bookmarks, citations, blog posts, multiple links and resources allowing the news editor to pick and select individual info items that may best serve his interest, editorial style and audience.
The Social Media News Release is an approach to releasing announcements that provides a uniquely rich set of relevant aggregated information, in multiple media, all individually open to re-use and re-distribution and capable to transform a static text-only press release into a dynamic venue for relevant discourse and multimedia contributions on the topic.
Though you will see this new type of press release referenced with different names, such as the social media release, the social news release or the multimedia release, these are all terms that converge to describe a new press release format that reflects and integrates all of the communication methods and tools that web 2.0 has brought with it.
List of Components in a Social Media Release
I compiled this list of elements after reviewing a number of the templates that exist out there.
- Date/Time Stamp: This seems to get forgotten a lot :) Put a date & time stamp on your release.
- Keyword-Rich Headline
- Sub Headline (if desired)
- Highlights: 3-5 bullet points of key facts
- Summary: The narrative version of the highlights - could also be used as a Twitter summary (e.g. 140 characters)
- Relevant Links / URLs: The URLs of sites that are relevant to the release. Shouldn't be overwhelming - 3 to 5.
- Socially Share This Content: There are lots of mechanisms available for sharing with various services. Use http://sharethis.com/ or http://www.addthis.com/
- Quotes: Separate sections both for quotes from parties involved as well as independent experts. Make sure there are links to experts.
- Embedded Audio, Video and Images: Include logos, screenshots, photos, audio clips, video and other similar content that is related to the release.
- Traditional Press Release: The original full release in an "easy to grab" form - for folks who cut & paste or simply republish.
- Company Information: Basic company deets
- Contact Information: A real person.
- Social Network Deets: A subset of contact info. Links like Facebook page, Twitter account - whatever is relevant and where the company/product/subject of the press release will be maintaining a presence.
- Tags: Delicious and Technorati are the most popular - use the keywords/tags that you would want/expect your content to appear.
- RSS Feeds: If the company has news release feeds or a blog feed, include them here.
- Source URL: Original published URL - in case the SMR is printed.
- Trackback URL: Would really like to see more SMRs include trackbacks. Alternative is "Who's linking to us" section which pulls the titles and URLs of links to the SMR from blogs, etc.
A more detailed list of options for items in an SMR is available from Chris Heuer.
Examples of Social Media Releases
Templates to Roll Your Own
- Shift Communications's Original (Updated) SMPR Template
- Social Media Group's Digital Snippets Template
- SavvyMom.ca - uses the CNW Service
- Avon's Breast Cancer Crusade
- Ford & the Environment - uses the Digital Snippets template
- BookRix uses the Pitch Engine platform
- EMusic Release about the Launch of EMusic Canada
- Yahoo's You and Yahoo Campaign (H&K's template - they did Avon's too)
These folks pioneered the format, critique its utility and continue to evolve the platform.
- Chris Heuer - Elements of a Social Media Release
- Todd Defren - Updating the Original SMR
- Collin Douma - What's Hot in Year 2 of SMPRs
- Tamera Kremer - Optimize Your SMR for Search
- Brian Solis - Everything You Wanted to Know about Social Media Releases
- IABC Takes on Evolution of Social Media Releases
- Muhammed Saleem, from Copyblogger, on writing a Social Media Release