First of all, what is a Social Media News Release (SMNR)? Let’s just say it’s not your grandfather’s news release at all.
A Social Media News Release (SMNR) is similar in content to a traditional news release, but SMNR’s are Web 2.0 optimized or media enhanced. According to Brian Solis, SMNR’s are stories that are specifically targeted to readers unlike traditional news releases, which are primarily aimed at journalists. SMNR’s still contain these classic elements:
- Facts/News Story
- Boiler Plate
- Contact Information
Unlike traditional news releases, SMNR’s can either be posted on an online blog with the link being delivered via email or delivered using a press release service such as PR Web. According to Dennis L. Wilcox, SMNR’s can include one or even all the following:
- Audio Clips
- Video Clips
- High-resolution Images
- Links to relevant websites which provide the reader additional background information
- Social Media Capabilities
There are many advantages to using a SMNR. First of all, SMNR’s provide readers the ability to interact with the content in the news release and they provide the reader additional background information. It is a good idea to use SMNR’s when writing about controversial subject matters because a SMNR can provide context to the story.
Another advantage to using SMNR’s over traditional news releases is the ability to share the information contained in the SMNR by means of diverse social networking tools. “Almost 100% of press releases issued today are done so without video or audio, which are underlying component of SM(N)Rs,” according to Solis. SMNR’s usually allow for:
- RSS Feeds
- Social Bookmarking
- Technorai Tags
- In-Bound links
The largest disadvantage to using SMNR’s at this time is the high competition between companies trying to get their SMNR read. Because it is much easier to compile a SMNR on sites such as PitchEngine, PRXbuilder, and PR squared, it would benefit most companies to take advantage of such SMNR building tools as they are offered free of charge.
A SMNR should not be used to try and change a bad news story into a good one. The social media elements added to SMNR’s should enhance the story and they do not substitute for bad writing. Here is good example of a SMNR from PRUNDERGROUND:
Tip for creating a SMNR:
- Use bullet points to focus attention to important topics. Online readers (79 percent of readers to be exact) usually scan text. Bulletin points make the subject stand out from the rest of the text.
- Tell all sides of the story. Do not show bias as readers will doubt your SMNR’s credibility.
- Search Engine Optimize you SMNR. Highlight keywords.
- Link to media. Be sure to include video and audio clips if available.
- Add social networking widgets to your SMNR. Common Widgets:
- To make sure your SMNR is read, network with probloggers in your area as they already have an online following.
I found this great presentation on Slide Share that further explains SMNR’s. It helped me understand SMNR’s a little better and I hope it helps you.