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Final Assignment — Social Media News Releases

It feels so weird to say that I have made it to the “final project” in my PR Writing course. The topic for this assignment will be social media news releases, which I have honestly never heard of before being assigned this topic.

What is a social media news release?

  • According to realwire, “The Social Media News Release (SMNR) is a press release format designed for the online media world. The press release was written with just the “press” in mind, but in the online world your story needs to be told in a format that is relevant to a wide variety of people – journalists, bloggers, publishers and the public at large.”
  • So essentially, a social media news release is press release for the online community.
  • I was able to learn a lot about social media news releases through this website realwire, and here are some of those facts.
    • The content of the SMNR can either be produced in the “traditional” narrative style or be deconstructed so that the core facts, quotes, contact details and boilerplate are all individually segregated to allow users to disseminate its various elements.
    • It can be company branded and can accommodate images, audio and video (including embedded social media video including YouTube) as well as links to relevant websites and coverage of resulting online conversations.
  • The Karcher Group defines SMNRs by saying that “Social media PR attempts to neatly package your message into pieces of information that can be quickly dissemenated on the Web, including video, photos, audio files, bulleted lists, quotes, resources, links, and more.  This allows users, whether they be journalists or bloggers, to reassemble or disassemble the information however they want and share it on the web.”
  • To add to this information, here is a video on youtube that gives a ton of good facts.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a social media news release?

  • Advantage: Social media news release “takes advantage of the linking,multimedia and social media capabilities of the Web to make releases more reader-friendly and useful.” It also is optimised for search, conversation, and sharing, while it tells the entire story through multimedia. (found at Social Media Training)
  • Disadvantages: Through my research, I could not find a whole lot of disadvantages besides the fact that it is harder to reach people who are not very computer-literate.

When should a PR practitioner consider using a social media news release?

  • Anytime that the company has an anouncement or issue that a lot of people need to hear about in a short amount of time.

Tips for SMNR writing (from Social Media Writing)

1. You absolutely must understand and learn the proper format that a press release is to be in. Over 90% of all press releases that are written today are in the wrong format and are thrown away. Reporters know who is a professional and who is not.

2. In regards to productive press release writing, you need to be concise. Long, drawn out press releases will be completely ineffective.

3. In order to excel at press release writing, you need to be familiar with how the press works. Unless you’ve been a part of the press in the past, or actually have been involved in media relations, you need to get educated.

4. In productive press release writing, you never bombard reporters with one release after another.

5. You need to make certain that your press release contains accurate and honest information. Submit false information to a reporter one time and you will be finished in press release and in productive press release writing.
6. Do not make grandiose promises to anyone you are doing press releases for – you can make no guarantees about what the media will or will not report on at any given time.
7. Finally, when it comes to productive press release writing, you need to understand and rely upon those media niches that will be most receptive to a certain type of announcement or information.
Here is a great example of a real social media news release that was created for IBM
Click for great templates for social media news releases: Template 1 & Template 2

Ch. 4 Key Points

I really enjoyed chapter 4 because it made me start to think about the kind of action that should be taken when dealing with a client. It is so weird to think that within a year, I will be trying to find a real client to do this with. But I kind of have a feeling that all of us, as PR majors, are thinking the same way about that, so that makes me feel better.

I liked that the chapter began with some obstacles to generating coverage in the news media like…

  1. media gatekeepers
  2. incredibly shrinking news hole
  3. the reality that the traditional mass media is now fragmented and it is no longer possible to reach the larger public through a single media
  4. information overload

In our chapter, it also pointed out eight key points about making news. These eight are timeliness, prominence, proximity, significance, unusualness, human interest, conflict, and newness. These are all important factors when it comes to making news for your client.

There was also a lesson on how to create news. These consisted of first and for most, brainstorming, then special events, contests, polls & surveys, Top 10 Lists, product demonstrations, stunts, rallies & protests, personal appearances, and awards. These were all great ways to get started thinking about how to make our client happy by getting them in the news.

I am glad that I had to read this chapter and I am looking forward to reading about writing a news release in chapter 5! Here is the link to our text book… http://www.amazon.com/Public-Relations-Writing-Media-Techniques/dp/0205648282