What is a Social Media News Release?

RealWire defines a Social Media News Release (SMNR) as a press release format designed for the online media world.  Social Media News Releases are also called Multimedia News Releases and a Smart Media Release (SMR).

The textbook for my public relations writing class, Public Relations Writing And Media Techniques, 6th ed., says, “The press release of the last century is dead.”  But this doesn’t mean the tradition news release is not obsolete because it’s the base of every social media news release.

A SMNR includes the traditional news release accompanied with photos/graphics, video, and audio components.  Some include hyperlinks that are embedded into the text; some links take you to social media networking sites.

A PR practitioner should use a SMNR to communicate with:

  • Journalist
  • Bloggers
  • Podcasters
  • Consumers

A PR practitioner should also use a SMNR when they want to reach a wide audience, even people outside their said target audience. A SMNR also allow for instant feedback because people who visit the site can leave comments and the company can learn what needs to be changed.

Advantages

(Info from Social Media Training)

  • All information is in one place
  • Include links and multimedia
  • Better for explaining complicated stories
  • Makes a better impression
  • Effective for searching
  • Effective for conversation
  • Effective for sharing

Disadvantages

  • Still a new format so the guidelines are a little blurry
  • Can be overcrowded with information
  • Can only be used online

Tips for creating a SMNR:

(From Public Relations Writing And Media Techniques, 6th ed.)

  • The content of the story is the key to its success
  • Focus on message first, then add the bells and whistles
  • Use headlines and the first paragraphs to position key terms
  • Don’t go link crazy. Too many links will draw focus away from the key messages
  • Don’t use too many graphic and videos
  • Use high-resolution images and multimedia that can be easily used by layout pros
  • Distribute the release through a service that carries hyperlinks to downstream sites such as Yahoo!, AOL News, and Netscape

Some websites that help you create a SMNR include:

To view an example of a SMNR that an organization has created- click the link below:

  • Coca-Cola-this SMNR focuses on collectibles

Remember, social media news releases are still new territory for the world of public relations so don’t be afraid to try new ideas. Be creative.

Brian Solis says,

  • “What this all means is that the future of the Social Media Release is up to you. Raise the bar. Experiment. Provide value. Remember, that releases, regardless of format, are only the tools that can help facilitate discussions, relationships, and also visibility. The ability to tell your story, your way, to the people that define your markets, is where we should all focus our time and effort…the rest, is simply a function of outreach.”
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