Think about this for a moment: the press release is a text-based promotional tool developed over 100 years ago.
It was/is not designed for the social media-powered sharing-sharing of today’s media world. And despite what they might say, the traditional wire service is also (though something not to forego) a traditional way of getting your news ‘out there’.
The solution is something that many clever minds in the PR and online marketing community have been advocating for some time – making the most of the ability to be your own media publisher and creating your very own social media newsroom.
Why a social media newsroom?
Powered by a blogging platform, you will control the creation, distribution, sharing and comments all in one place. Your place. Not on Facebook. Not on Tumblr. Not on a news wire.
This gives you control.
Control over the brand identity of your news. Control over the content. Control over the SEO benefits. Control over where the links go.
Instead of ‘blogging’ about your news – which you should do too – you can create optimised ‘social media press releases’. These pages and your newsroom act as a central hub of news for your brand. Putting your information here ensures that journalists find all your content, and are able to use it in one simple, friendly place.
With the focus on a ‘social’ page, you will be giving journalists access to the kind of content they prefer, and making it easy for ALL site visitors to share your content with their networks, regardless of their credentials.
What a social media press release looks like
The way that modern journalists work has changed drastically to 100 years ago. They like news information in an easy to read format that makes it dead easy for them to use. (And who doesn’t like their online content this way?)
Begin your release with a short description of the announcement, giving the big juicy details. Using bullet points here is a great way to get the main points across in a reader-friendly format. If you keep the character counts down, these points can also serve directly as shareable snippets for social media.
Add share buttons such as ShareThis to make it incredibly easy for your news release to go out to the social networks.
Offer links to relevant background material and (yes!) other news stories about the announcement, with your own comments about those stories. Doing this actually helps the journalist do their job (making them happy and responsive to you). It also has the benefit of allowing them to take a different angle on the story, with your information added for further analysis and commentary.
You should also include approved attributable quotes from the CEO or other executives, as well as important customers and industry/sector experts and analysts.
This web of ours is a multimedia platform. So provide approved multimedia assets such as videos, audio quotes, interviews, sound-bytes and testimonials. Offer shareable codes for embedding and linking to your multimedia streams around the web.
Oh, and tag all this too so that it can be easily found in search.
What should you do with the traditional release?
Don’t despair, you should still write a solid traditional press release that goes out through your traditional channels.
Just make sure you link to your social media press release page and you’ll reap the benefits.