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Social Media Release – Needs To Be Social April 11, 2008

Posted by John in social media.
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I’ve been following the Social Media Release story on Techmeme (the home of social media releases via blogs). This is my area and I have a big opinion. For the past 4 years I’ve been at the center of social media, social networks, social graphs,,bla bla bla. Social Media is the real deal. Here are some of my opinions that I’ve posted here before. Social Everything. Social Media New Standard for Online Advertising. Vertical Media New Online Advertising Model. Are Ad Agencies Dying?

Matthew Ingram breaks this down for the average Joe and Mary – put freakin links in your releases. Thanks Matthew.

Seriously Mr. Ingram is right on, and I’ll go on to say that SMNR are a good thing . Press releases have to change and are changing. Companies like Cisco and Intel are doing it right. Other leaders are moving in the social media direction as well.

Two big problems with the above examples: 1) It’s just not about PR any more it’s about message distribution and rich media – hello integrated marketing and advertising groups – It’s not just PR anymore; 2) most of the examples mentioned above particularly Cisco are flawed in that their media isn’t social. Putting links in a release doesn’t make it social. Cisco is putting in links but the content is all about their walled garden site – that ain’t social that’s ‘jail’.

My Take: PR is now an integrated process that has it’s own value chain. It’s not about throwing a release out over the wall and it’s over. It’s a recursive process that requires resources both people and machines. This is where Tom Foremski is so brilliant. He has always talked about machine media working in tandem with people – thats social and that’s social media.

My advice: produce media in the Social Media Release and make it social. Sometimes that will require resources (people and money). This has been the biggest issue for PR departments – they are underfunded for this activity yet it is becoming a critical success factor for their business. The lines between PR and online advertising is bluring.

The Social Media Integrated PR Value Chain

Thanks to Tom Foremski for starting this conversation. Here is a picture of me Tom and one of the fathers of blogging Doc Searls. Social Media Releases are the future of PR – now they just need to be social.


1. Todd Defren - April 11, 2008

Good stuff, John. The need to make SMRs more “social” has been an issue of some debate in PR circles. I’m on your side of the issue, and have advocated for making sure that “conversation” around a news release happens within a corp. newsroom (with blog functionality). Many fear this open-ended approach (too many negative comments & spam being the main objections). This is the future though, don’t doubt it.

I track conversations and reactions to SMRs here: http://del.icio.us/SHIFT.Communications (be sure to check tags like SHIFTtemplate or SocialMediaReleases or SocialMediaNewsroom).

Thanks for your advocacy!

2. csalomonlee - April 11, 2008

John – you state:
“My advice: produce media in the Social Media Release and make it social. Sometimes that will require resources (people and money). This has been the biggest issue for PR departments – they are underfunded for this activity yet it is becoming a critical success factor for their business. The lines between PR and online advertising is bluring.”

I always thought that PR must be thought of as part of the marketing department – it’s not an island by itself. Rather, it’s a critical component and the nature of PR is more than “traditional” media and analyst outreach. PR’s main function is communications – who cares if it’s advertising, media, offline, etc. In the end, it falls under the same umbrella.

I think some PR agencies have figured this out. If you can demonstrate tangible value to the customer then the issue of resources and money will be less a factor.

3. John Furrier - April 11, 2008

csalomonlee agree but the issue is that traditional PR metrics don’t value the real asset of social media – leveraging the ‘gravity’ of content (like news or new product). That is why Gabe puts releases in techmeme he only filters ‘gravity’ that starts conversations and the marketplace takes it from there in the value chain that I posted. PR or advertising however you look at it needs to be every piece of the ‘value activities’ in the social media value chain.

a recent example is the shel israel loren feldman story – shel let the conversation move to opinion before he could respond – the result a major blow to his brand. he should have gotten out front when the ‘gravity’ hit the conversation or chatter marketplace.

social media is easy to do if done properly but it requires know how and resources not some magical ROI. It’s communication agreed but that is a form of advertising today. The holy grail shaping opinions that get cured as ‘matter of fact’

4. John Furrier - April 11, 2008

Thanks. I see that most PR firms are under resourced to execute social media and advertising. Their budgets don’t cover the work requried to get the real benefit.

I have a slide deck on each phase of that process. I’ve had success with the Bloghaus and other projects that I’ve implemented so it’s doable. It involved people, machine, and money resources to make it happen.

5. Jeremy Toeman - April 11, 2008

As I blogged about myself (http://www.stagetwoconsulting.com/its-not-the-bullets-its-the-poorly-aimed-guns-79/) I don’t think this is really about the release as much as it’s about HOW releases are used. So far the only consensus I am reading is “include links” – I don’t think that’s good enough. The answer, IMHO, is about training PR teams to better engage with their connections…

6. John Furrier - April 11, 2008

good comment. right on about the aim or direction. I would add that this is a campaign once the “first shot is fired” the campaign begins.. the first shot is the gravity. Most strategies don’t follow through after the release so your right get the aim right then follow through – its a campaign

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