The Rise of Social Media Press Releases

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The Rise of the Social Media Press Release

Yesterday I visited a Facebook group in which I’m a member. I was somewhat taken aback when I read a post that started –

“Social media has forever changed how nonprofits and journalists distribute and consume news stories, yet the format of press releases has not evolved at all. Almost every communication medium out there has been impacted by the rise of social and mobile media, but not press releases.” (11 Tips for Making Nonprofit Press Releases Social and Shareable)

Well, I know I’ve been creating and posting social media releases (SMR) and releases that are Search Engine Optimized (SEO) since 2009 when I managed The Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture featuring Al Gore.

And, I’m far from the first!

Then I remembered the post The Definitive Guide to Social Media Releases by Brian Solis, written February 11, 2008.

The blog covers a lot of information about the creation of SMR and the evolution of press release wires and includes a description of what an SMR should include:

  • Headline
  • Intro paragraph, rich with key words, relevance and context (summary)
  • Supporting facts
  • Quote
  • Embeddable Video (The new VNR)
  • Embeddable Audio
  • Embeddable Images
  • RSS for the organization’s news
  • RSS for product/services info
  • Post in “insert social network of choice”
  • Blog this (links to blogging platforms)
  • Share on Twitter, Tumblr, etc.
  • Bookmarks
  • Relevant links
  • Digg, Reddit, and other relevant news aggregators and communities
  • Comments – Maybe also include a link to a hosted network on Ning or even a discussion forum
  • Contact: hcard, vcard, Linked, Facebook

I use a national or local release distribution service, depending on the scope of the release. All have templates in which you input your press release and include ways to ensure that they are SEO and SMR.

I love using the Atlanta Daybook for local news releases. They have direct reach into the newsrooms, corporate headquarters and nonprofits in my target market.

Once the release is posted I encourage members of the organization to share with their organizational partners and personal networks.

I also send my releases pasted to the face of a personalized email. When I do this I:

  • Keep everything flush left, including the header, sub-head, organization’s logo and contact information
  • Follow the classic pyramid with the most relevant information in the 1st paragraph
  • Ensure that the subject line has all the relevant information & piques interest in the release
  • Use keywords in the header and subhead
  • Hyperlink the name of the organization, project and/or event to the organization’s website in the 1st paragraph
  • Use a relevant quote in the third paragraph
  • Link details of relevant information back to the organization’s website
  • Provide a link to usable JPEG files housed in the website press room
  • Add a link to the website in the boilerplate
  • Add contact info to the bottom of the release
  • Post the release in the organization’s press room, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter feed, blog and whatever social media platforms they use.

Is there room for improvement? Absolutely! Read through the suggestions in 11 Tips for Making Nonprofit Press Releases Social and Shareable and see which suggestions will work with your organization. Also checkout Marketwire’s Tips for Entering Your Nonprofit into the Social Media Environment and PRWeb’s Nonprofit News Release Services. You’ll find good information and some excellent examples of nonprofit social media releases.

Remember, no matter how social and shareable your release is, be sure that the information is relevant and worthy of distribution and creating positive conversations between your organization and your target markets. And, don’t forget that to have ‘real’ people follow up and respond to queries from the media and bloggers.

Any other suggestions? We’d love to hear from you!

Keeping your story alive after your event

 

 

My friend Stacy sent me a link to a press release about an upcoming event – Dawgs for Mito presents Carson’s ClassicStacy’s son Carson has mitochondrial disease, which causes developmental issues.

A family babysitter, Hannah Bossie, was so taken by Carson, that she decided to hold an inaugural golf tournament to raise awareness about Carson’s condition. Hannah and a team of students at UGA launched the first collegiate chapter of UMDF, a nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for mitochondrial disorders and to provide support to affected individuals and families.

Now the chapter is holding its first event, a golf classic named in Carson’s honor.

Stacy asked if I could make some suggestions on how to get the word out about Carson’s Classic and help keep Carson’s story alive.

No question that events are a great way to create and engage a community to support your cause.  I set the stage for converting event donors to program donors in my last blog post.

Social media is key for making your event a success and keeping your story alive.

Here are some details on using social media to keep the conversation going:

Event website

  • Your event website serves as the hub for your event and after-event activities
  • Post awards
  • Post photographs and a link to download and/or purchase
  • Embed YouTube presentations
  • Provide easy to find links to your social media sites.

Facebook

  • Launch a Facebook page for your event.
  • Start building your community by inviting people to Like your page
  • Feature your sponsors & post their comments on their event participation
  • Provide event recaps in photos and videos
  • Thank participants, sponsors, volunteers
  • Quote participants about their experiences on your event page
  • Post a recap e-newsletter
  • After the event turn your friends into activists for your cause. Make sure you focus on opportunities to be engaged.
  • Link to YouTube presentations from the event
  • Share your successes

Twitter

  • Create a Twitter hashtag for your event
  • Share relevant information/content about your organization
  • Put links to your event in your tweets
  • Build engaged community before and during your event
  • Invite people to retweet information on your cause
  • Say thank you to people who retweet your post
  • Set up twitter to post tweets directly onto your Facebook page
  • Tweet links to event videos, & testimonials
  • Keep up your presence with meaningful information on your cause
  • Continue to build an interested community
  • Link to YouTube presentations from the event

LinkedIn

  • Create a group for your organization.
  • Post information about your events in your group.
  • At the same time, foster robust discussion groups and encourage members of your group to join the discussion
  • Link to YouTube presentations from the event
  • Share your successes

Your  social media initiatives should live on, extending the life of your events. Social media makes it easier for you to reach out to attendees, volunteers and sponsors and keep them engaged.

Need help with your social media initiatives for your next event? Please contact me at deborah@creative-si.com.