Are you looking to generate some publicity from social media? Forget sending out an old school press release on the wire. While the traditional press release template is still useful for connecting with journalists and media outlets, it’s simply not an effective way for most companies to generate leads and customers and connect with their fans.
As Brian Solis, the Principal of PR and New Media Agency FutureWorks and author of the popular PR 2.0 blog, says:
Press releases are both a mechanism for refining and distributing news and now also serve as a conduit for connecting influencers and customers to information as well as the people behind the story through social networks. Upgrading the template for the development of press releases improves the foundation for the story and the transparency, authenticity, and believability required to extend it across social networks, online press outlets, and throughout the blogosphere.
The upgraded template is called the Social Media Release, or SMR. In a SMR, you can incorporate embedded video, photos, product images, presentations and pdfs into a mini-website that can easily be shared via the social web using apps like Twitter, Delicious, Facebook and Digg.
What are the benefits? The SMR engages readers by providing far more information than the canned press release template that was created over 100 years ago. SMRs are more conversational and make it easier for you to be found by bloggers, fans and potential customers and also help with SEO by adding links to your site.
The Social Media Release isn’t a replacement for a traditional wire service for important news, but a supplement to it. A number of traditional wire services (like PRWeb and Marketwire) have incorporated SMR features, but PitchEngine is a website completely dedicated to the SMR.
We use all three, but I like how I was able to add our YouTube screencasts directly to the SMR. Currently, PitchEngine’s SMR is free for the first 30 days. Check out our recent Growth Panel release to see it in action.