The Social Media News Release: A Quick Progress Report

The SMNR continues to gather steam. Here’s some of the cool stuff that I know about.

50,000+ downloads of the SHIFT template from our website (my webmaster refuses to count ‘em anymore; 50,000 is where we left off a few months ago.) Many people have told us that the template was forwarded to them, or they were handed a hardcopy, so my guess is that it’s in the hands of an exponentially larger group of folks.

Some of the companies that have reached out re: their plans to adopt the SMNR (or to tell me about their results) include: Belkin, SAP, Walt Disney’s Buena Vista Pictures, Novell, Cymfony, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of California, and "one of the world’s largest organic food wholesalers," etc. (Disclosure: Novell and Cymfony are clients.)

At least four PR professors are teaching their students about the SMNR, including Professor Soon Yeap of Seattle University, Professor Kelli Matthews of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, Boston University’s Professor Edward Downes, and of course Robert French of Auburn University (and the terrific infOpinions? blog). "They’re teaching it to our children!"

Each of the major news-wires has made excellent strides since last Summer toward supporting SMNRs from a technical perspective. Edelman — love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re big & important bellwethers — came out with a tool to create SMNRs for their clients. A new company, PRX Builder, was founded on the technical tenets of the SMNR template.

The Social Media Club — spawned, like SHIFT’s template, by blogger Tom Foremski’s anti-PR rants — is going gangbusters. Shepherded by Chris Heuer and Kristi Wells, it’s now a global organization!

All of this amazing progress has been made since Foremski’s late-February 2006 post. The tipping point has sent us careening down a path that — hopefully — makes the news release a fresh and relevant resource, to new-age and old-school media, all over again.

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Posted on: January 11, 2007 at 4:35 pm By Todd Defren
7 Responses to “The Social Media News Release: A Quick Progress Report”


  • Todd Defren says:

    Thanks so much to everyone who’s taken the time to respond to this post (and who have helped me push this concept over the past 9+ months!)

    FYI, everyone can track overall reaction to PR 2.0 stuff, particularly the template, at our page,

  • Anonymous says:

    Awesome post Todd. 50k and still going! Let’s not forget the 101 guide that explains the meaning, benefits, value and “how to” write them – and also explains “why” they matter now more than ever. Part I, Part II, Part III.

  • Jen McClure says:

    … and don’t forget that the Society for New Communications Research is also supporting this via its Best Practices committee and working with Social Media Club on the industry standard. Thank so much for your important role in helping to lead this effort, Todd!

  • Jessica Armstrong says:

    I passed on information about, and a copy of, the SNMR to my PR Writing (MA) professor at Bournemouth University in England in December. She says she’ll probably work it into her curriculum for next year. Hopefully, more professors in the UK will start to talk about it with their students in 2007. Many of them mention social media in a lecture or two, but haven’t fully embraced it in their teachings yet (shame!) like back home in the States, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

  • Nellie Lide says:

    Todd – you all have done a wonderful job and taught me so much – thanks for sharing. Nellie

  • Pamela Slim says:

    Hi Todd:

    I enjoyed learning about the press release at last night’s Social Media Club meeting here in Phoneix.

    It inspired me to write a blog post about it this morning:

    Thanks so much for your time and effort into creating it. It will be interesting to see where it goes!

  • Congratulations, Todd. I haven’t completely adopted the SMPR, but it has dramatically changed the look of our releases.

Show some social media love would ya?

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