A Social Twist on the Humble Press Release

A social media news release is just like a traditional press release, except it is also social media and Web 2.0 optimized. In short, this type of news release encourages interactivity, is easily shared in the social Web and contains other Web 2.0 elements.

Generally, these elements include:

  • Multimedia items such as downloadable images, audio/video files or PDF/DOC files.
  • A way for readers to comment directly on the news release content.
  • An obvious and easy way for readers to bookmark the news release in social bookmarking sites or to share it via email.
  • Technorati tags and links to purpose-built del.icio.us pages.

If you or your business produce online or email press releases on a regular basis, you should be using, and therefore benefiting from social media news releases. Like everything else on the Internet today, there is an expectation that content will be interactive, easily shared, and will offer sources to similar information. If your news releases do not live up to these expectations, it may hurt your chances for major media coverage.

We spoke to Libby Martin who runs one of the top creative agencies in the UK and she told us that she now uses these kind of social media news releases as one of the first things her agency does for every new client. She said that they are much more powerful than regular press releases and have the ability to drive much more traffic.

It’s easy to create your own social media releases, or you can use a service like PRWeb. And, since a social media news release is just a traditional release with added elements, you do not need to change your present format, just include some additional sections.

These added elements include:

Multimedia section

Here you will offer a number of downloadable items, including PDF or Word documents (book excerpts, advanced reviews, white papers, brochures, etc.) and images (author photos, company executive photos, book cover art, company logos). Also provide any relevant podcasts and video clips in this section.

Technorati tag section

Use this section to list links to Technorati pages that are tagged with a list of key terms relevant to your release.

Social bookmarking section

In this section, provide links to any of your relevant del.icio.us pages. Here you could also provide links to relevant pages on Digg.com or any other social bookmarking or crowd-sourced news site.

Sharing and commenting

In addition to the above sections, you should also make it easy for your readers to share or bookmark your release in any number of ways. Allowing visitors to comment on your news release makes it truly interactive.

Social media section

If you don’t have a social media newsroom to refer readers to, you should consider adding a section to your news release that lists where you have a presence in the social Web. Link to your profiles in places like MySpace, Facebook, Squidoo, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc.