15 Steps to Social Media News Release Success

Sally Falkow

As recent studies show, more journalists than ever are using social media to source, research and write their stories. That’s why Sally Falkow, president of PRESSfeed,
 is bullish on the social media press release—one that is ripe with compelling multimedia content and links to social platforms.

Just why should communicators take the time to make press releases socially ready? “Journalists are under a lot of pressure today,” says Falkow. “They’re all being asked to do more with fewer resources. And while they still have to do the work they did before, they also have to provide content for their Web site.”

With those challenges in mind, Falkow says it’s critical to help the media out while getting the most bang for your news release buck. Here are Falkow’s 15 steps to a highly effective social media news release:

  1. Add a main image that tells the story. Use an original, high-quality image in a JPEG format and add the source code with the image URL so that a blogger or journalist can easily and quickly add the image to their story.

  2. Craft the lead paragraph with a news angle and the 5Ws.

  3. List the core news facts in the release in bullet points.

  4. 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

  5. Link to relevant analyst coverage.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. If possible, add a short video. It is quick and easy to make a digital video and get it online—85% of all media Web sites 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 Web site or blog.

  10. Add any other supporting material: charts, slide decks, PDFs, infographics or whitepapers.

  11. Tag all the content with the keywords that will make it easy to find in search or social sites. Use words you think a journalists might use to search for when writing story on this topic.

  12. Add the About Us boilerplate. Avoid corporate-speak and PR language. Make it actual and substantive.

  13. Include a contact person—a real person. Don’t use PR@yourcompany.com. Add the social profiles of the contact person.

  14. 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 e-mail it to friend if they prefer.

  15. Write a short, concise headline.  Keep it to 10 to 12 words. Your headline should make a good Twitter pitch. Use your main keyword near the beginning of the headline.

As journalists get more involved with social media, Falkow says it’s critical for PR to stay current with the social media news tools that will make it easier for journalists to do their jobs.