Posted by: beccathomas | April 22, 2010

Tell Me More…(Topic of the Week 15)

This past semester I have learned so many different practical ways to communicate that will help me in my future with Public Relations.  Communication is key in Public Relations, and it is important to focus on the art of effective, efficient, and clear communication.  I think that one of the most beneficial ways of communicating that I have learned about some far this semester would be social media news releases.

I first was introduced to this form of communication when I read about it in my Public Relations textbook.  After reading the small section in the textbook, my interest was peaked.  So I began searching online to find out more information.  I quickly found a helpful website that explains what social media news releases are all about.

This website (realwire) explained that a social media news release was  a press release that is made in a format  for the online world.  Meaning the whole purpose of a social media news release is to target your market for those who are in the online world.  If your target market is those online, then everything you do should be focused on how to reach them (your target market) best.  Your audience range is wider since your dealing with all people who are online, so you need to be sure that what and how you are communicating is relevant to everyone in your target market.  If you want to communicate a message to the online world, there is no better way to do that than through a social media news release.

Social media news releases can be constructed in two ways according to the realwire website.  It can be constructed in the narrative style, which is considered the traditional form.  Also, social media news releases can be put together so that the core facts, quotes, contact details and boilerplate are all individually separated. This method allows users to quickly scan various elements of the release.

There are many advantages to social media news releases.  In my opinion, the greatest advantage is that you have a broader range of people reading your release since it is geared for the whole online community.  Since you have a more diverse audience range your message is more likely to get noticed and published.  Social media news releases are also useful, because you can have them be placed under search engines.  That feature alone guarantees that mass amounts of people will have quick access to the message you are trying to communicate.

Although there are many advantages to a social media news release, there are several drawl backs as well.  Often social media news releases can have to many links included in them, which distracts the reader from the intended message.  If the reader is constantly clinking on links, their attention is being redirected and it often will leave the reader confused on the overall message.  Your focus should always be on the message, so you want to be cautious when including links, pictures, and audio.  You should not include those things unless that compliment your intended message.

Before writing a social media news release, you should research tips and examples so that you can avoid common errors.  I recommend visiting the copyblogger website and reading their article on social media news releases.  Also, you can check out the pitchengine website to find help on creating a social media news release.

After reading my Public Relations textbook, I understood some simple “do’s” and “don’ts” of social media news releases.  They mention that it is helpful to include a few links to websites that help reinforce your intended message.  The book also suggests to put key terms in key positions.  If you want something to be noticed or remembered, it needs to be placed in the headline or first paragraph.  The book also recommends distributing your release through large search engines, so that your material is easy to find.

That same text gave notable suggestions of things to stay away from when writing a social media news release.  The authors said you should be cautious with how many links you use.  If you use to many links, you can distract the reader from the original intended message.  It also recommends that you focus on your message first, then try to spice it up after your ensure your message is clear.  Another pointer the author gives is not use low-resolution images.  You want your images to be easily used in layouts, so it is important to use high-resolution images.

If your anything like me, you will want examples to look at before you get started writing.  I found some good examples online that you should check out.  Some examples I found include: AdobeFord and the British Army.

I hope this post has been informative on social media news releases.  If you are going to be in the public relations field, you need to take some time to get familiar with this form of communication.  This generation gravitates towards the internet, so we should use that fact to help us communicate better.  I encourage you to take some time and check out the links I have posted through out this post, because I think they will prove to be well worth your time!

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