Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Storm: Social News Releases

Social news releases are taking the public relations field by storm. Just like regular thunderstorms, some people love them. They curl up, read books, and watch the clouds pour out rain. And then there are those who despise storms. They see them as dangerous and obtrusive to their daily plans. Like the storm or not, it has arrived.

Social news releases are multimedial releases that often feature things such as video clips, citations, links, blog posts, rss feeds, and more. The format most commonly used was created by a man named Todd Defren in 2006 (http://www.pr-squared.com/). This one-stop news release is loaded with information that journalists can take or leave. Regardless of how they use it, this release's multiple functions display the basic attributes of a traditional press release, plus much more. The much more is what enables so many individuals to learn from it, use it how they like, and pass it along in an easy and accurate way. Some individuals are such strong advocates for this new release format that they insist on literally killing the old, traditional format. Tom Forenski wrote a post that described just this: http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/. Forenski outlines many reasons that a pr professional should in fact put on their slicker and enjoy the rain.

So why should pr folks use this format and not the traditional format? Well, first let me say that a pr person, especially those operating around an older generation of professionals, should not eliminate the traditional format. Why not? The goal is to reach as many people as possible and that includes those who still use the format which is now considered "out of date" by so many. With that in mind, using the social news release is essential. First, most journalists are internet users. This means that they are probably technologically savvy and will utilize and appreciate this format. Next, the social news release format is viewed as less of a "spin" and more of a presentation of facts that can be used however the journalist sees fit. It aggregates a variety of components that create an overall look at both the news that is being promoted, as well as the company or organization behind the release. Finally, it creates more buzz about your company by providing numerous links to other social media that your company is utilizing. It optimizes your search engine numbers, making you easier to find by those who are "pulling" for you!

Storms are scary and sometimes if not properly prepared for, can cause some damage. So, like a storm, prepare for using a social news release. Learn how to use it and when to use it. Be ready so that when the time comes you will have your umbrella or slicker and be more than prepared to walk in the rain with the social media pros.


Jeff Norris said...

Great job debating on whether PR professionals should do away with traditional news releases. I also liked how you put links in your blog that go to different website and blogs. Great post with lots of information.

AmandaK said...

Nicely done. Social news releases are going to make a big impact. While there are several uses for old-school press releases, a lot of people just ignore them. Social news releases are the new way to get a little attention.