PR community action on social media press release

Whether journalists are ready or not for the social media press release, the PR community now has a great opportunity to thoroughly discuss the concept and try to get some traction with the whole idea of evolving the press release into something far more valuable than purely a vehicle for transmitting messages.

Quick recap – the social media press release is a concept for a communication tool, developed by Todd Defren at Shift Communications, that is more suitable for an age of social communication:

[…] The ‘Big Change’ is the recognition that journalists are Internet users – they are increasingly comfortable researching and working online, across many types of ‘re-mixable media’ (hyperlinks, text, photos, videos, etc.) … The Social Media Press Release merely amplifies prospective source materials; it does not replace a well-crafted, customized pitch nor replace the need to provide basic, factual news to the media.

Todd says that inspiration for the concept came from journalist blogger Tom Foremski, the scourge of many PRs with his infamous “Die! Press Release! Die! Die! Die!“ post last February.

Today, Tom posted that a project is launching to take Todd’s intial concept and make it into something tangible:

[…] We need a vehicle that can easily integrate podcasts, vidcasts, text, and company information that is labelled and tagged so that the right information can quickly be pulled together. We have the technologies to do that, to partly preassemble the information needed in preparing a news story.

The key, however, is to have all the PR agencies and media/comms departments in corporations to agree to a baseline standard new media press release format. We need to make sure that everyone uses the same labels/tags for things like “company founded date” or “CEO today said” etc. And agrees on other aspects of the format.

Leading the project is Chris Heuer who outlines his vision for making this a true community-driven activity.

There is a Google Group for this project. If you’re interested in being part of this community action, sign up. I’ve done that.

Looking forward to some interesting conversations.

Related post:

Communication Leader, Social Media Leader, Consultant, Digital Change Agent, Speaker with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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