A Social Media News/Press Release is not meant to “stand alone.” It is meant to suppliment your mainstream press release, not replace it. The SMR combines flexible formatting options with a tagging standard. It becomes more user-friendly and useful by allowing the advantages of the linking, multimedia and social media capabilities of the Web.
The goal is to make business news usable by online reporters and bloggers. According to Brian Solis, a Social Media Release (SMR) “should contain everything necessary to share and discover a story in a way that is complementary to your original intent.”
The thing that started all the hoopla about defining and setting up some type of form or standard was an article written by reporter Tom Foremski in his blog post “Die Press Release, Die Die Die.” In it, he basically says that all he needs from an SMR is the facts. He is sick of reading the spin because he is the writer, and that is his job. Basically, he is much like the detectives on the old Dragnet television show. He wants, “Just the facts, ma’am.”
Recently, I viewed a Webinar from PR Daily that covers this topic thoroughly. The host, Michael Sebastian, who is managing editor of PR DailyWeb hosted a show entitled, The Basics: How to Produce a Social Media News Release. His guest was Shel Holtz, ABC and principal of Holtz Communication and Technology.
He explained that this caused Chris Heuer, the founder of The Social Media
Club, took the intiative to have the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) assume the leadership role in the standardization of the Social Media News Release.
The SMR Working Group of IABC to Date includes:
- Chris Heuer, founder, Social Media Club and principal, The Conversation Group
- Tom Foremski, journalist
- Shannon Whitley
- Brian Solis
- Shel Holtz, ABC
Those who have recently joined after receiving an IABC invitation are:
- Laura Sturaitis, Business Wire
- Jiyan Wei, PRWeb
- Dan Zarella, social media consultant
- Todd Van Hoosear, communicator and social media practitioner
- David Parmet, public relations counselor
- Jason Ryan, New Zealand public sector communicator.
Todd Defren at Shift Communications released the first template of a Social Media Release. Although Foremski suggested bullets as a quick way to find the information, Holz says that you don’t have to include bullets if you don’t think your audience likes them or you are not comfortable using them. Basically, he says you just need to include the core elements. He lists these as being:
- Multimedia: Images, Audio, Slide sharing (PowerPoint), and Video.
- Quotes (Tip: worthwhile to subdivide quotes from 3rd party quotes. ex: CEO/Customer/Advisor
- Research Aids (ex. Technorati Tags, Links to related content
- Contact information
Holz says that there are three ways in which you can produce an AMNR. They are:
- Do It Yourself: He himself codes in Html as he is writing. If you are not proficient in that, you can always use a Web content managing system….a blogging platform(ex. WordPress, Blogger) to make this a lot easier. It just needs to be clean, simple and utilitarian for your audience.
- SMNR Services: There are many out there for you to use. Pitch Engine has a template. All you have to do is copy and paste your content or type it in from scratch.
- Links to sharing sites.
The bottom line is that when preparing a Social Media Release, you shouldn’t try to write showy, eye catching dialog. That is the job of the writer, whether that is a blogger, a reporter, or another journalist. Watch the following video from RealWire, a press release distribution company who gives a quick rundown of the effective SMR.