The media landscape has changed dramatically over the last five years and we’ve seen a sudden jump in adoption of social media tools by journalists in just the last year. There are several companies and organizations that do regular surveys of how journalists are using social media and the 2011 surveys show a sharp rise across the boards. Online and social media news has become the norm.
One of the eye-opening results from the 2011 surveys of journalists is the rapid rise in adoption of social media by reporters and web editors. However, just over half of those surveyed feel that PR folk are not keeping pace with this digital PR revolution. They say we’re not using the social media news tools that would make it easier for them to do their jobs - like providing a state-of-the-art online newsroom with all the features that make their news gathering easier..
Journalists are under a lot of pressure today. They’re all being asked to do more with fewer resources. While they still have to do the work they did before, they also have to provide content for the website. That means lots of multimedia content along with the story. The majority of journalists say they rely on PR content more than ever, but they need it in a new form: a social media news release with multimedia to support the story.
Here are the 15 steps to crafting a successful social media news release:
- Write a short, concise headline. Keep it to 10 – 12 words. Your headline should make a good Twitter pitch. Use your main keyword near the beginning of the headline.
- Add a main image that tells the story. Use an original, good quality image in a jpeg format and add the source code with the image URL so that a blogger or journalists can easily and quickly add the image to their story.
- Craft the lead paragraph with the news angle and the 5Ws.
- List the core news facts in the release in bullet points.
- Write the rest of the release in narrative form. Add links to research, facts, statistics or trends that could be helpful to the journalist writing the story
- Link to relevant analyst coverage.
- Add approved quotes from the main players in the release. Add links to their bios and social profiles. Add a note that bloggers and journalists can call for interviews and custom quotes.
- Make the release available in an RSS news feed. Feeds are the blood vessels of the social web and your news content needs to be in that stream.
- Add more images, so that there is a choice for bloggers and journalists. This allows them to choose an image that fits their take on the story. Supply source code and URLS for all images.
- If possible, add a short video. It is quick and easy to make a digital video and get it online. 85% of all media website now use video and many of them are looking for completed videos from an outside source. Supply the embed code for the video so that they can immediately embed it on their website or blog.
- Add any other supporting material: charts, slide decks, pdfs, infographics or whitepapers.
- Tag all the content with the keywords that will make it easy to find in search or social sites. Use word you think a journalists might use to search for when writing story on this topic.
- Add the About Us boilerplate. Avoid corporate-speak and PR language. Make it actual and substantive.
- Include a contact person – a real person. Don’t use PR@yourcompany.com Add the social profiles of the contact person.
- Add icons that connect to all social content for the company and provide social sharing links so they can like your news on Facebook, tweet it right from your news release, post it to a host of other social sites or email it to friend if they prefer.
There are many wire services that allow you to post your release online in this format. However, most journalists do not get their news from wire services anymore. They are trolling social media sites for news and sources. They’re using search engines. They’ll come to your website and look through your online newsroom.
You need to be able to post your social media news release in your online newsroom, with all 15 steps.
If your current newsroom does not have these features, and you are considering upgrading it and adding social media features, schedule a demo of the PRESSfeed Newsroom.
Call Sally Falkow on 626 676 6419
Social Media News Release Step-by-Step Guide
A 15 step guide to crafting an effective social media news release that has all the features journalists have requested..
"Every website needs to have a social media content hub so that you have one go-to URL for journalists, bloggers and the public," advises Sally Falkow (APR) co-developer of the PRESSfeed social media newsroom. "Your online newsroom should faciliate all 15 of these steps so that you can post news releases in social media format to your company website."
"Pew Research identified search as the factor that most impacted the news business in the last decade and sharing news as the one that will most impact news in the next decade.," says Falkow. "Make your news content easily shareable. Offer Facebook Like, Tweet This, Google +1, StumbleUpon and email options."
PRESSfeed is an online newsroom that was developed to be a useful digital PR tool to help PR and marketing people deliver their news to journalists and editors who require the content in the social media news release format with multimedia elements attached to a story.