The Social Media Press Release Continues to Evolve

Last week I was delighted to learn that my friend Laura Fitton’s company, oneforty, was being acquired by HubSpot.  I knew nothing of the deal in advance, but feel very “interconnected” to the whole shebang…

Laura started up oneforty as “entrepreneur in residence” in SHIFT‘s Boston offices.  I recall strolling into her office one day to say hello, and still smile to remember the look on her face as she glanced up with a wild mix of excitement and weariness. At that very moment she was plotting her course for “an appstore for Twitter” across a batch of scribbles laid along the desk.  In short order she not only had funding but began a slow-motion land-grab of SHIFT cubicles as she staffed up, ultimately leaving the nest.

Meanwhile, SHIFT was the lucky firm that not only got to launch HubSpot back-in-the-day, but more importantly got to LEARN from HubSpot’s early and relentless focus on content marketing.  I hold Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah and Mike Volpe in the highest esteem, and am jazzed to see what happens when Laura is added to that potent mix.

Lastly, the release announcing the oneforty acquisition represents the latest iteration of the Social Media Press Release (which I also hold near-and-dear).  In it, each and every sentence comprising the release is fashioned as a standalone tweet, complete with hashtags:

Today @HubSpot acquired @oneforty, a social media marketing company based in Cambridge, MA. #Hub140 –  Tweet This

(Logo: )

Like @HubSpot, @oneforty recognizes the importance of social media in the transformation of marketing. #Hub140  Tweet This

@oneforty created a directory of social media applications and the social media marketing tool SocialBase. #Hub140  Tweet This

The @oneforty directory will merge into the @HubSpot App Marketplace, the largest app store for marketing. #Hub140  Tweet This

Of course this format could not have even been envisioned when the SMPR concept debuted in 2006, since Twitter was not even around at that point.  That’s a meaningless distinction.  The original SMPR template was never intended to become “official.”  It was intended as a wake-up call to the industry that the hidebound, over-written, text-driven press release was becoming archaic in the Web 2.0 mediascape. 

The HubSpot/oneforty announcement is just the latest iteration of the idea: “Let’s innovate this sucker.  Let’s try something different.”  I saw some complain that the “twitteresque” treatment of this release was a bit kludgy or heavy-handed, but given oneforty’s roots, I find it appropriate — and awesome.

And it got results.

Kudos to all involved, on every aspect of this deal.  Good luck!

Posted on: August 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm By Todd Defren
11 Responses to “The Social Media Press Release Continues to Evolve”


  • Great story all around, I heard about this on another news site, and posted about the ‘tweet’ style press release on my own.

    Robert, I really like your idea of one tweet line being a request with @whoever!

    Thomas @

  • Atul says:

    Thanks for sharing this smart idea! To Todd’s point taking further, adding inline content (rich media such as audio/video/image) to the PR tweets will make message more memorable. This will still keep 140char brevity but will give large canvas to paint your message.

  • The simplicity is striking, but 140 characters or not, these quote lines were decidedly old school:

    Having @oneforty join our team and working with them on transforming marketing is exciting, said @bhalligan. #Hub140

    The combined social media expertise of @HubSpot + @oneforty will benefit all of our customers, @bhalligan said. #Hub140

    The evolution of the social media news release should not mean the end of narrative story telling.

    • Todd Defren says:

      You make a good point, Robert. A fair # of those tweets are, frankly, not going to be used. Perhaps a more reasonable approach would be to include 3 – 5 options for usable, well-told tweets in an otherwise narrative release?

      • Maybe an intro graph that sets the narrative, followed by 2-3 key-point tweets. Then, another narrative graph. Of course, I’m assuming the narrative is legit and not some canned chow about how great the acquisition is for all Earthlings.

        On the quotes, what about this: Run a tweet line that reads, “Tweet your request for a quote or interview to @pistachio or @bhalligan. …” Basically, embed a one-click tweet request for a quote, where the journalist has enough characters remaining to ask a question. This way, you get rid of canned quotes altogether, and you eliminate the need for (most) journalists to request an interview.

  • Thanks so much for blogging about this Todd! Kara, our the fabulous media relations gal here at HubSpot did a great job with this and I’m thrilled to join their marketing team. Appreciate your support along the way of oneforty too. :)

  • Todd, this is indeed a great story all around. You are sort of a midwife on it in more ways than one!

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