MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Social press releases – how to combine the old with the new

On Monday, Brian Solis made a post on his blog that discusses the anatomy of a social press release  (this post is definitely worth taking a look at as its insights may benefit all of us in developing tactics for our client project pitches!).

To reiterate, the post is really worth looking at – I know that personally, I didn’t have a clear understanding about exactly what a social press release entailed – so this gave me a greater understanding of how we as PR practitioners can utilize social media to better communicate a message in a way that a traditional press release couldn’t.

To summarize, a social press release can include any material that will enhance the value of the message it’s sending – be it video, picture, or link – leaving the reader (in most cases, journalist) with a more complete impression. Not to sound cliche, but if a “picture paints a thousand words,” then as practitioners we can certainly use this visual impact as a way to communicate better and keep journalist’s attention better. It may allow us to convey a message better than 4 traditional pages worth of press release material ever could.

Brian Solis suggests blogs as a forum for these social press releases. To quote him, “It’s the most profound forum for actively demonstrating expertise and sharing vision and direction consistently over time. Blogs are also an ideal home for sharing news in a format that tells a story in a more human voice. It shouldn’t read as a typical release however. It should capture the essence of what’s new, unique, and worthy of attention and present it in a format that mirrors the story you would ultimately hope to read elsewhere – complete with all of the shareable media content that also speaks to people, their way.”

This point of view makes sense – but what about the old school journalists, who over the years, have developed names for themselves in traditional media as respected and reliable sources, and who aren’t social media savvy and would rather practice their craft in the good old fashioned way (the way that made them successful)?

We may have to rethink media relations practice completely in order to successfully integrate social media releases. Will this mean picking and choosing which journalists we think would be open to this new way of receiving our messages? Will this question provide a forum for discussion among PR practitioners and journalists about “what works”?

And from a client’s perspective – how can we explain all of this and still have them trust that their money is being put to good use… that there will be a result? A print article is (literally) black and white when it comes to coverage and audience impressions.

Any thoughts on how social media releases may change the face of media relations for PR practitioners?

Til my next post,



May 21, 2009 - Posted by | Review of Monitored Site

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for this blog Laura and covering the SMR. I had never really understood them either until reading yours and Solis’ posts. As far as what I think their outcome will be, I’m somewhere between the first and third thought on your poll. My optimistic side hopes that a happy medium is able to be reached, but my better judgment tells me it could go SMR all the way.

    Either way I think they are a valuable new way of presenting information and hopefully I’ll the opportunity to learn more about them and create my own.


    Comment by beewilly | May 23, 2009 | Reply

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