WHAT IS A SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS RELEASE?
- A Social Media News Release (SMNR) aims to completely rethink the narrative, text-focused approach to news releases by taking advantage of linking multimedia and social media capabilities of the Web to make releases more reader-friendly and useful. SMNR’s incorporate the use of links, images and videos to increase the feel and mood of a release. They also keep readers interested in what the release is about and give them an opportunity to interact more than a regular news release.
“No matter how much technology you employ to help make your message stand out from the crowd, if the message does not resonate, the photos, links, and videos won’t help it.” – Michael Pranikoff, PR Newswire
- In his book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, Dennis Wilcox explains that “these releases, pioneered by the major electronic distribution services, such as Business Wire, PR Newswire, and Marketwire, now make it possible to embed a news release with high-resolution photos, graphics, video, and audio components. Wilcox also refers to SMNR’s as Multimedia News Releases or Smart Media Releases.
- According to Realwire, an SMNR is a release format designed for the online media world. In the online world, your story needs to be told with a larger variety of people in mind than the press release. Journalists, bloggers, publishers, and the public at large will be the majority of your audience, so write in a way that will be of interest to them all.
WHAT ARE SOME ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SMNR’S?
- Social Media Training lists some of the advantages of SMNR’s:
- Optimized for search
- Optimized for conversation
- Optimized for sharing
- Tells the entire story though multimedia
- Provides contact on complicated stories
- Makes a better impression, visually, than a wire release.
- Other advantages:
- Maximize exposure of the news release through online access
- A broader variety of people on the internet have access to your SMNR
- Members of the media can be directly linked to company websites, videos, podcasts, etc. directly
- The speed at which they are communicated
- In reference to Hubspot, some disadvantages of SMNR’s include:
- Formatting – Since some journalists prefer plain hard copies of releases and are not ready for media releases that contain links, photos, videos and other social media sites. Many portals will not accept releases that have special formatting such as italicized and bold fonts, and bullets and indentions because they are more difficult to be syndicated.
- Syndication – Sometimes the links and features that are present in the SMNR are “unclickable” or do not repost in the correct format making it impossible for a journalist to find the information you have send, ultimately frustrating them.
WHAT SHOULD A PR PRACTITIONER CONSIDER WHEN USING A SMNR?
- A PR practitioner should consider using SMNR’s when a company or brand is introducing a new product or service, announcing financial news, or company achievements. They should also consider the use of a SMNR with the release of the new product or service and want to use videos, images, links and other graphics to convey a more visually appealing and detailed description to the reader or client.
- Being able to physically see a product is more convincing to a client than just reading a plain description in a print release. Graphics and models add to the credibility of not only the product or service but also to the company.
- SMNR’s also allow for more direct communication between the client and company. For example, it is much easier for a customer to make a decision on buying a new car when they are able to see and touch the car in person, rather than reading just a description of it.
HELPFUL LINKS TO HELP CREATE YOUR OWN SMNR:
- There are several available sites to get your started on your SMNR. Sites like PitchEngine or PRXbuilder are great aids in getting your personal SMNR created. These sites are free and operate at a beginner level to help walk you through the steps necessary to take in order to successfully develop your SMNR. There are also tutorials you can follow that will also better explain the set-up process.
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF AN SMNR:
TIPS FOR SMNR CREATION:
PRWeek: Craig McGuire gives techniques for incorporating social media into SMNR’s:
- DO include links to pages where multiple instances of your key words/phrases reinforce your message.
- DO place terms in key positions like headlines and first paragraphs.
- DO distribute a release through a service that carries hyperlinks to downstream sites such as Yahoo! Finance, AOL News, and Netscape.
- DON’T go link crazy. Too many links will confuse journalists and draw focus away from key messages.
- DON’T use low-resolution images. Opt for high-resolution multimedia that can be easily used by layout pros.
- DON’T use all tools, all the time. Focus first on the message. Use the bells and whistles to complement the campaign.
(Information taken from Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox)