02:51 PM

Edelman creates tool to create social media news releases


I caused quite a stir earlier this year with my Die! Press Release Die! Die! Die! post. It came about from my frustration with the usefulness of the conventional press release. I offered some characteristics of what a new media press release might have, such as more links, labels/tags to quickly find information, and have links to related news stories, etc.

Many in the PR community have been working to create a more useful press release, which is wonderful. I applaud all efforts to make my job easier.

Edelman [an SVW sponsor] just released a tool/template it calls StoryCrafter that helps produce what has come to be known as a "social media news release." Shift PR has produced one too, and so has PRX Builder.

I'm not a big fan of the term "social media" I think "new media" would have been sufficient--and a more neutral term. But as long as everyone agrees on one meaning that is fine.

PR companies are extremely competitive and so the vying over whose social media release tool/template is better than the rest is only just beginning. Will there be one standard for social media releases? Maybe, but not yet. Let's try out these and other formats. I'm sure that a set of best practices will develop and everyone will benefit.

What interests me is if the PRnewswire and Businesswire services will carry social media releases. My understanding is that they charge extra for every link carried in a news release. Since links reduce the need for long press releases, their business model is threatened.

It is clear that the newswires are facing more than one challenge to their business model and are becoming increasingly irrelevant as news distribution platforms.  The Internet is so much better at distributing information, it is vastly cheaper, and has far greater reach.

PRNewswire and Businesswire charge a lot of money,  money that could be better used in communicating company news through formats such as the social media news release, and technologies such as RSS.

All that is needed is a ruling by the SEC that a company's RSS enabled online newsroom and its web sites, satisfy requirements for broad and immediate dissemination of material information. I don't think that we are far from such a ruling, IMHO.