Creativity that fits "Like a glove!"

The Social Media News Release explained in detail

100 years after the invention of the press release, “the Daily” launches Social Media Press Release (SMNR).
Anxious to adapt to Web 2.0, it offers a press release 100% online,shareable and rich content for the video.

In the article I have chosen “The Social Media News Release Explained in detail”, the author describes how to make a news release in detail. It is really interesting for someone who work in the communication department to understand the structure of a news release.

All of the following elements that you can find in “The Daily” are described:
1) The Banner
2) The QuickLinks
3) The introduction and the video sharing social networking
4) The news
5) Multimedia elements and the code emboded essentia
6) Social media and tags

For more information, here’s the site:http://www.socialmedia.biz/2011/12/07/the-social-media-news-release-explained-in-detail/

The advantage of SMNR is that you can quickly see the most important points for a blogger. He has the ability to copy and paste items that are useful for him in only few seconds! This also allows to quickly download articles, videos or any items that are suceptible to be interesting. In my opinion, this is undoubtedly an essential tool for bloggers of tomorrow!

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How to Effectively Write a Social Media News Release

The social media release is an end in itself. The company writing the news release is the publisher of the content. It is not necessary to depend on another outlet to use and disseminate the information. Media pick-up is irrelevant.

An article on Forbes describes how to effectively write a social media news release, and what information should be released in this manner. The best thing about these releases is that they are mass communication intended for the largest possible audience.

The article’s tips include:

  • Create conversation around your news by asking a question, making a joke or a thought provoking statement. It makes people interested and want to keep reading.
  • Keep with social aspect by incorporating pictures or video into your release.
  • Write news that could be deemed newsworthy by customers and potential customers. Keep in mind: significant news for the target audience.
  • Share the news of what’s in the release, but personalize it. Then link to the release from your website or an outside outlet.

These tips will help you keep your customers interested in your news releases.

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The Foundation of the Social Media Release

The social media release did not just appear out of nowhere, it began after a blog written by Tom Foremski.  Foremski was an annoyed journalist/blogger that was tired of the traditional press release.  In 2006, he made a blog not only containing his opinions about the press release, but suggestions on how it could be made better.

These suggestions included:

1. Deconstruct the press release into special sections and tag the information so that I as a publisher can pre-assemble some of the news story and make the information useful.

2. Provide a brief description of what the announcement is, but leave the spin to the journalists. The journalists are going to go with their own spin on the story anyway, so why bother? Keep it straightforward rather than spintastic.

3. Provide a page of quotes from the CEO or other C-level execs.

4. Provide a page of quotes from customers, if applicable.

5. Provide a page of quotes from analysts, if applicable.

6. Provide financial information in many different formats.

7. Provide many links inside the press release copy, and also provide a whole page of relevant links to other news stories or reference sources.

8. And tag everything so that I can pre-assemble my stories.

(taken from Tom Foremski’s 2006 blog- http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2006/02/die_press_relea.php)

And with these suggestions, the social media release was developed!


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Guided by Change


According to a State of the Media report done by Vocus, news staffs continued to diminish in 2011. Some may find this a bit of a surprise considering that less newspaper’s actually shut down in this time.


In an article on PR Daily, it is recognized that the influence of social media is a huge contributing factor to this minor phenomena. Newspaper staffs are collecting tech savvy editors who know the ins and outs of digital and social media. These, and many other changes, have created the need for some changes in how the PR industry runs.


The seven things listed in this article are:


  1. Text alone is boring. Media outlets are looking for visuals in addition to the story.
  2. Do not forget, in the midst of technology, you are still pitching stories to PEOPLE
  3. The iPhone/iPad is no longer a suggestion. Get one.
  4. DO NOT PITCH USING SOCIAL MEDIA – This is not an effective, nor professional, way to present a story.
  5. Although you do not want to pitch through social media, do create relationships in this way.
  6. Reporters are busier than ever in this social media age, make it as easy as possible for them.
  7. TV newsrooms are best approached between 8 and 9 a.m. via telephone.


These are just seven items to what I am sure is a never-ending list. Social media is changing the distribution of news, it is up to us to keep up with the times.

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Press Release Faceoff

I found this article on Mashable that was posted by Sundeep Kapur of Click Z, a partner of Mashable that provides marketing and business news.  They provided a list of the “Top 11 Social Media Sins for Brands”.  I have paraphrased the list below but you visit the more detailed and descriptive list HERE.  I stopped at number five because it’s the most important for this week’s theme of social media news releases. 

1. Don’t run specials all the time.

2. Don’t wait for people to come to you.

3. Don’t run contests and games all the time.

4. Don’t block negative feedback on your media platforms.


6. ….

Kapur makes an interesting point in the article as she describes the logical thinking behind this point.  Kapur states, “Do you pay attention to more than 300 characters or watch long video clips? Brands tend to forget the conversational nature of engagement on social media sites – short, interesting stories are a much better way to engage.”

In our textbook Engage, Solis states “It’s not if, but WHEN the traditional press release will be killed off by the social media release”.  I agree that social media press releases will start to make a more wide appearance on the web but, I believe that standard press releases will still serve a purpose.  Kapur makes a valid point when stating that social media is made to be concise and to-the-point.  Thus, I believe the social media press release and standard press release will complement each other in the future, not one killing off the other.

Social media press releases should be used at the shock and awe factor and should drive traffic to the full length press releases in standard form.  Why limit yourself to 160 characters to tell a “concise” story when you can use 160 characters as an avenue to the full story.  What do you think will happen with this “press release faceoff”?

-Eric Hughey


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Issue Resolution on Social Media Websites

While social media is increasingly becoming one of the main ways consumers contact corporations, it is important that corporations know and understand how to handle consumer complaints.

An article by Duke Chung on Mashable describes how corporations should respond to negative comments made by consumers about a product or service on their website.

 “Happy customers who get their issues resolved tell an average of four to six people about their positive experiences”

To resolve issues quickly and by listening to your audience, you will not only find repeat customers, but positive word-of-mouth messages sent via social media. This will reach hundreds of people without the company being the message sender. Chung says that satisfied customers are one of the most influential brand ambassadors.

How to turn customers into brand ambassadors:

  1. Be Fast
    -25% of social media users expect a response within one hour
    -Since the internet and social media are instant, it is important to keep up.
  2. Be Visible
    -Think of each response as being a reference for any other customer with
    the same issue.
    -Join in the conversation about your brand to better understand the
    community that follows you.
  3. Be Consistent
    -Brand accuracy drives confidence and credibility, and helps build brand
    loyalty among your customers.
  4. Be Organized
  5. Be Human
    -Your customer support should make customers feel as if they’re posting a
    normal question on a friend’s wall. Creating that kind of relationship
    with your customer should be the priority of any company.

Your company’s support system, through social media, turns into an open, interactive community, where customers can share their positive experiences with one another and spread the good word about your products and services – all on your behalf. This is why it is beneficial to listen to your customers and resolve issues as Chung suggests.

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Listen to Your Audience: The “Anonymous” Case

All digital natives worthy of the name must have heard the news: MegaUpload, the most common server used by this generation, had to close last week.

It is not that news especially that caught my attention, but the reactions that followed. Indeed, all week I was suddenly captivated by the actions of this movement, relatively unknown until then, called the “Anonymous”.


Who are they? They are hackers who claim freedom of expression, through more or less legal ways.

From there, I have come to wonder why it was necessary to hack the FBI’s website or the U.S. Department of Justice’s to be heard.

Then, I draw a strange parallel with a conversation I had with my grandmother before coming at UCMO. (Oh, I forgot to introduce myself, I am currently a French exchange student at UCMO !). In short, I remember she said something like “How lucky you are to go across the world, you will find the joy of writing a letter again!”, I looked at her, stunned and told her that I did not see the benefit of loosing one week in order to send news to someone when I could do it in one minute via Skype or Facebook.

As a simplification, I write letters to my grandmother and I am forced to realize that the quality of conversation and information sharing is far from being the same…

So here I am, having my back to the wall with these two questions unanswered: What is the point of constantly creating new communication tools if no one is able to listen to you? And what is the point of living in a democratic country if freedom of expression is flouted?

Elizabeth K. Stanton


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Obama Hosts Google+ “Hangout”

Public relations is an important practice in any form of business communication.  Listening to your audience is one of the most important tasks.  Businesses can publicize and promote themselves like crazy but until they start listening, they will never be successful.  Without an audience or customer, the business will fail if it doesn’t take time to LISTEN. You must keep your audience happy and always keep them in mind.


PR functions such as “listening to your audience” can even be seen at the highest governmental levels.  For example, President Barrack Obama will speak online on The White House’s Google+ page at 5:30 pm next Monday, January 30th.  The President will give a short address and then answer the questions that are the most highly voted on by viewers and general public.  Viewers can message in via video or text with questions.  The White House is even publicizing it as a “hangout”.


This is a perfect example of “listening to your audience” within PR. Obama has to keep the citizens happy because the citizens control his fate of office.  This is also very relevant to our text reading, Engage. On page 44 Solis states, “Go where your customers [audience} are, not where they aren’t”.  This is illustrated by the President and his staff by holding online video chats that incorporate social media, podcasts, blogs, etc.  There is a very high percentage of young people that don’t vote each year. But where young people are involved, is social media and the internet.  This is a way for the President to capture the voices and opinions of those people.  Social media allows for an aspect of listening and feedback.  Through traditional media such as newspaper articles and nationwide addresses on television, feedback from the audience is far more difficult to obtain.


-Eric Hughey


For more information check out these sources:
-Book: Engage by Brian Solis

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Branding Tools

I am not an avid “Tweeter” by any means…but every once in a while I will stumble into a great find. Saturday evening, that was just the case when I found a recent story from Mashable about the use of Pinterest as a branding tool.


Three of the five main points in the story outlined how Pinterest could be used to interact with/listen to your audience.

The first of these indicated how pinners volunteer more information about their personalities and interests on this site than any other. In fact, wouldn’t it be easy to use these details in a kind of pseudo focus group? To invoke this practice, you would simply need to look into what those that follow your brand are pinning.

You can also use Pinterest as a way to crowdsource and run contests. All of these exciting opportunities to interact with your audience are (at this time) free of charge! Also, the site is still being learned by many. Who knows what other possibilities may emerge…

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Starbucks Going Green

Starbuck’s is known as one of the world’s most popular producers of coffee worldwide, but this has also led to some negativity.  According to an article on Forbes.com, Starbuck’s has been known for emitting large amounts of carbon with every single cup of coffee produced.  This has raised much awareness within its public, which has led Starbuck’s to look into major environmental changes within its company.  

One such change that has caused people to turn heads is Starbuck’s new shipping container outlet.  This outlet just opened this past December in Tukwila, Wa.  It consists of one 20-foot container and three 40-foot containers.  

According to Spokesman Alan Hilowitz, the core mission that Starbucks’ is trying to display with this new, cleaner addition is “providing a gathering place for communities, using Starbucks’ scale ‘for good,’ and reducing the corporation’s carbon footprint — while also recycling the same kind of shipping containers that transport our coffees and teas around the world.”

This goes to show that Starbuck’s is not only listening to what their publics have to say about their company, but are thinking above and beyond just their problematic coffee cups.

Here is a link that displays pictures of the new shipping container outlet: 


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