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Who Needs Social Media News Releases?

First of all, what is a Social Media News Release (SMNR)? Let’s just say it’s not your grandfather’s news release at all.

A Social Media News Release (SMNR) is similar in content to a traditional news release, but SMNR’s are Web 2.0 optimized or media enhanced. According to Brian Solis, SMNR’s are stories that are specifically targeted to readers unlike traditional news releases, which are primarily aimed at journalists. SMNR’s still contain these classic elements:

  • Headline
  • Facts/News Story
  • Quotes
  • Boiler Plate
  • Contact Information

Unlike traditional news releases, SMNR’s can either be posted on an online blog with the link being delivered via email or delivered using a press release service such as PR Web. According to Dennis L. Wilcox, SMNR’s can include one or even all the following:

  • Audio Clips
  • Video Clips
  • High-resolution Images
  • Links to relevant websites which provide the reader additional background information
  • Graphs/Statistics
  • Social Media Capabilities

There are many advantages to using a SMNR. First of all, SMNR’s provide readers the ability to interact with the content in the news release and they provide the reader additional background information. It is a good idea to use SMNR’s when writing about controversial subject matters because a SMNR can provide context to the story.

Another advantage to using SMNR’s over traditional news releases is the ability to share the information contained in the SMNR by means of diverse social networking tools. “Almost 100% of press releases issued today are done so without video or audio, which are underlying component of SM(N)Rs,” according to Solis. SMNR’s usually allow for:

  • RSS Feeds
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Technorai Tags
  • Comments
  • In-Bound links

The largest disadvantage to using SMNR’s at this time is the high competition between companies trying to get their SMNR read. Because it is much easier to compile a SMNR on sites such as PitchEngine, PRXbuilder, and PR squared, it would benefit most companies to take advantage of such SMNR building tools as they are offered free of charge.

A SMNR should not be used to try and change a bad news story into a good one. The social media elements added to SMNR’s should enhance the story and they do not substitute for bad writing. Here is good example of a SMNR from PRUNDERGROUND:

Tip for creating a SMNR:

  1. Use bullet points to focus attention to important topics. Online readers (79 percent of readers to be exact) usually scan text. Bulletin points make the subject stand out from the rest of the text.
  2. Tell all sides of the story. Do not show bias as readers will doubt your SMNR’s credibility.
  3. Search Engine Optimize you SMNR. Highlight keywords.
  4. Link to media.  Be sure to include video and audio clips if available.
  5. Add social networking widgets to your SMNR. Common Widgets:
    1. Facebook
    2. Twitter
    3. Digg
    4. Delicious
    5. MySpace
  6. To make sure your SMNR is read, network with probloggers in your area as they already have an online following.
I found this great presentation on Slide Share that further explains SMNR’s. It helped me understand SMNR’s a little better and I hope it helps you.

Additional Sources:

‘How to Write and Distribute a Social Media Press Release’ By: Kathryn Vercillo
realwire Services

So You’ve Tried, But What If You Want To Do More?

I’ve been using’s service for almost two weeks now.  I like the service and I find it to be fairly easy to use for a noob.  I’ve watched a few of the “how-to” videos on WordPress.TV and today I learned how to tidy up my front page using the more option.  Now my homepage only displays a short excerpt of my posts…But I’d really like to do more.

As an aspiring public relations practitioner I’ve spent a large amount of my time looking at the 79 themes available on’s website trying to find the “right” layout for my homepage, looking for “my brand,” but I haven’t been completely satisfied with the features currently available.  Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with the current themes, they just don’t give my page the look that I would like for it to have.

Another issue that I have had with’s site is the fact that a user can’t download and install third-party widgets.  I would like to have the Eco-Badge displayed proudly on my site, but due to’s restrictions I can’t install the widget.  What’s a blogger to do?

I decided to do a little research on the internet to see exactly what I would have to do to create my own website.  I came across words like: domain name, web host, FTP, and MY SQL Database.  I felt overwhelmed by all the information.

I didn’t know where to buy a domain name, let alone know anything about finding a web host.  After turning to a Google video search I came across a video that was quite helpful on YouTube.  Ket-Sang Tai walks viewers through each step need to create a WordPress powered blog using the bloggers own domain name and web host. The video was recorded in three parts and the information is explained in a way that most users can comprehend.

Happy blogging!

WordPress Blog Tutorial 2

WordPress Blog Tutorial 3

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