Back in the day, press releases were the primary means of communication between business enterprises and the media. However, the advancement of the internet has made the traditional format of a press release less effective as journalists, press members and readers crave small chunks of succinct details that incorporate social media, linking and multimedia to make it more digestible and relevant. Compare this to the multi-page press releases that dominated newsroom fax machines in the past and it’s pretty clear that the way information is assembled and received has changed.
If you’re used to traditional press release formats its evolution to social media press release (SMPR) won’t be too much of a challenge. Knowing what to include and how to format your SMPR will be a big help in securing media and blogger coverage for your brand’s news and happenings.
The basic SMPR parts are:
Each part has been labeled and is featured in a sample SMPR outline to make it easy to follow along.
1. For your headline, state exactly what’s the SMPR is about. This isn’t the place to use jargon or slang. A keyword or two and you’re good to go.
2.The secondary headline isn’t always necessary, but if you want to add a bit more insight and push readers to read the next line then include it. Follow the same guidelines you used in the headline.
Once you’ve built your SMPR you’ll want to distribute it to your media and blog contacts. There are multiple distribution methods for your SMPR. You can email, fax broadcast, post and link on your website or use distribution services. Distribution services typically come in two flavors – paid and free.Services with payment are very costly ranging in prices from $350 to $3500 depending on length, images and circumference, local, regional, national or international. The advantage of a paid service is that media and blog contacts are kept current and you will often receive specific instructions that pertain to how each individual likes to be approached and contacted. Additionally, you receive access to syndicated newswires like the Associated Press, Reuters and others which aren’t typically available through free services. Newswires are the official method of communication used by most to receive news content. If you’re interested in paying for distribution visit PR Newswire or Marketwire to learn more.
Free distribution of your SMPR can take place via a multitude of sites. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, it will be up to you to determine which one is the best outlet for you and your brand. Some of the more popular free distribution sites are PRLog, i-Newswire and Press Release Point. You’ll want to research what’s included in the free distribution service and find out what types of flexibility you have with customizing your distribution list. This will help you get your SMPR into the hands of the right people. For instance, if a site informs you that they distribute to all the major national newspapers you should ask if they have distribution points to journalists that focus on specific content like health, technology or finance.
Also, keep in mind that the SMPR above is a sample only. Feel free to tailor your SMPR to fit your brand’s needs. You many need to go bigger or smaller. It’s entirely up to you.
Courtesy of Social Media Today.