A radical suggestion for the Social Media Release: don’t put any Social Media Releases out over the wires.
While I sincerely applaud how far the wire services have progressed in all-things-social, I am unconvinced that “distribution” is the Big Issue for Social Media Release adoption. It’s not about distribution, it’s about empowerment and conversation.
I recommend you put out a well-written “traditional” release over the wires, with a built-in link to the “social media version” at the company’s online newsroom. Thus you can bypass the wire services’ outsized SMR fees without giving up on their distribution platform.
To do this, however, you first need to create a Social Media Newsroom, using a blogging engine.
The social media version of the release, posted to a social media newsroom, can allow for everything from rippable multimedia (video, audio, graphics, etc.) to sphere-this to del.icio.us links to moderated comments. Additionally, with each news item posted as a blog entry, you can aggregate all conversational elements about that news in one spot, via trackbacks and other social media tracking tools.
This approach offers the added benefits of being a lot less expensive; maintaining full control of brand identity; and turns your newsroom’s “version” of the release into the truly official version.
With so much potential activity happening around each release, it’s more likely that anyone who writes about your news online will link directly to the newsroom, versus linking to the heretofore “official” release that comes from the professional news wires. This boosts SEO. (In fact, you might also consider an AdWords campaign to drive additional web traffic directly to your most important news releases.)
Jeremiah Owyang’s recent post about how the Social Media aggregation and engagement prowess of FriendFeed is what the SMR should be, really hit home for me. He’s spot-on in terms of what the SMR should do for companies, and he really drives many of the points I’ve been making for two years – though I’ve often been misunderstood.
However I respectfully disagree with Jeremiah that FriendFeed will enjoy widespread corporate adoption. Given the relative “newness” of FriendFeed, one could suggest that the SMR (done right) offers a stepping stone to FF’s additional functionality, or (as Brian Solis suggests in the comments section of Jeremiah’s post), perhaps FF could complement an SMR. We’ll see.
I can point to some amazing examples of Social Media Release experimentation. Widespread adoption is a longer-term story. But as I’ve said a million times, we’re talking about the “webificiation” and “socializiation” of the humble, 100–year old, text-based press release: if you believe in the Web; if you believe in Social Media, you can’t help but agree that the SMR is on the right side of history.
Posted on: June 11, 2008 at 7:50 am By Todd Defren