Rebranding The Social Media Release

by Jason Falls |

BrandingEncouraging the evolution of breakthroughs in technology, be it gadgets, processes or just theories, is what defines thought leadership. Maggie Fox and the Social Media Group have done just that with the recent launch of Digital Snippets, a progress milestone in the evolution of the social media press release (or just social media release) and newsroom. They should be applauded and thanked for doing so.

Thanks to Maggie’s work, the conversation about social media releases (and social media newsrooms) has rekindled. Chris Heuer, one of the originators of the social media outreach idea, posted an interesting video Utterz (very cool new feature, by the way) this week to remind those new to the conversation from where we’ve come. In it, he brought to light the consideration of renaming, or perhaps re-framing, the social media release.

Here’s a suggestion and the thinking behind it for consideration. These thoughts all converged this week as Heuer, Brian Solis, Geoff Livingston, Jeremy Pepper and Fox, among others, all reacted to my “not enough context” reaction to Digital Snippets. (Is Defren on vacation? Just asking … and kidding.) While I still hold the opinion that Ford’s Digital Snippets effort is a bit lacking in context, the reiteration of the conversation and reminders of the framework in which each effort resides has dusted off my thinking lobe. (Yes, I’m keenly aware client’s strategy and wishes precede our passionate principles, wholesome as they are.)

As Solis noted in his comments to my Digital Snippets reaction post, the term “social” tacked on to the “media release” or “press release,” in Brian’s words, “… implies conversation … whether hosted internally or externally.” By definition, he is certainly right. However, by perception, the term “social media” is often interpreted as “bloggers.” Sure, that accurately describes the general intended audience, but that excludes an all-too-important group that, in my opinion, is as apt to use and find value in the social media release: traditional media.

I’ve offered internally and to clients my belief that the elements of the social media release, even one without my community-principled context and reference, comprise all of the self-serve resources public and media relations professionals would ever be called upon to provide the “old” media. Because of this, I believe what we call the social media release (and social media newsroom) will become the method of choice for all media, new and old, moving forward. Sure, the need and usefulness of the traditional narrative approach will remain, but perhaps we add an editorial section to the social media release and incorporate it.

So where does this thinking lead us in terms of labeling (dare I say “branding”) what this thing is becoming? As Heuer asked, “What should we call this?”

We’re all producers of media. We all operate in the digital world. (What “old” media outlet doesn’t?) The dissemination of information, whether it is done via social media or the trusty (rusty) old newspaper or newscast, sparks conversation when compelling. So instead of putting a wall up to separate a social media release from a traditional press release, let’s define it as it is: a Digital Media Resource.

Digital – Technology-based, but not limited to technology or the Internet alone.

Media – Any person or entity that produces content.

Resource – A place to find information.

Thus, the DMR is a place for media producers utilizing technology to find information.

Does this cast too wide a net? Is my all-inclusive approach flawed? Are there synonym Nazis out there who will pick this apart?

There are answers to all those questions. Please offer yours here as we continue to define social media releases and social media newsrooms in the hopes of best serving us, our businesses, our clients and (perhaps most importantly) our on- and off-line communities.

Other conversations you’ll find interesting:

  1. Social Media Release Criticism: Nine Points To Consider
  2. On Digital Snippets
  3. PR People Please Take This Quiz Before Sending Another Pitch Or Press Release
  4. If I Could Change One Thing About The Social Media Press Release
  5. 5 Social Media Trends That Will Impact PR

IMAGE: From Lucinda’s Sanchez Adobe.

[tags]socialmediarelease, socialmedianewsroom, social media release, social media newsroom, social media, public relations, PR, journalism, media[/tags]

About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).