Maggiecrowley's Blog

Social Media News Releases

Posted in Personal,Uncategorized by Maggie on July 8, 2010

This information can be found in PUBLIC RELATION WRITING AND MEDIA TECHNIQUES, 6th edition, by Dennis L. Wilcox.

What is a social media news release?  Social media news releases, or SMNR, share information similar to what can be found in a traditional news release, with added high-resolution photos, graphics, videos or audio components.  Social media news releases are the high-tech version of traditional news releases that provide information in five general areas including:

  • Announcements– provides information about the occurrence of personnel appointments, promotions and changes, new products or services, earnings, mergers, events, etc.
  • Spot Announcements– occur under circumstances that can not be controlled by an organization, like a storm or outside action, that must explain what happened and how it will affect the organization.
  • Reaction Releases– when an event or situation has an impact on an organization, this type of news release can be used to describe how the event has impacted related organizations and how it will affect the public.
  • Bad News- an approach used to confront an issue that may damage an organization’s image, otherwise.
  • Local News- localizes issues to make organizations and events seem closer to home and more important to certain communities.

Social media news releases were first pioneered by the major electronic distribution services, such as Business Wire, PR Newswire, and Marketwire.  To promote maximum exposure, these distribution moguls have teamed up with major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and MSN to make searching and finding much easier.

According to most experts, bloggers are one of the biggest targeted audiences when it comes to social media news releases. This audience spends a lot of time on the Internet and is familiar with how to handle these types of releases.

When writing a social media news release, keep in mind that only actual news should be included.  Sometimes readers can be overwhelmed by the magnitude of information in news releases.  As writers, we should try to avoid over-stimulating readers with every tid-bit of multi-media excitement and too many words.  Paragraphs should stay succinct and factual to be most affective.

Social media is an easy and cost-effective way for news releases to circulate, especially for major event and product launches.  This example of a SMNR is an announcement of Chik-Fil-A’s new spicy chicken sandwich. Unlike a traditional news release, this example was formatted for the Internet and includes a high-def picture to further entice viewers.

Chick-Fil-A Heats Up Menu with New Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of a social media news release:


  • Relatively easy to create
  • Cost-effective
  • Ability to reach masses of viewers
  • Very versatile


  • May be harder to “stand out”
  • Sensory overload
  • Can be more difficult to reach target audience

How and when to utilize a social media news release can be tricky. It is important for users to determine when it will be most effective to use a social media news release.  SMNR’s are effective when announcing the release or launch of a new product or service.  Public relations practitioners should consider the timing of a SMNR before it’s distribution.  Social media news releases can be used simultaneously with the placement of other forms of advertisement, like PSA’s, commercials, newspaper and magazine placement, radio announcements, etc.

Social media news releases can be created using pre-made templates found in the Internet or, for the experienced practitioner, can be homemade.  Here are a couple of links that offer help for those new to the practice of creating social media news releases.

PRX Builder: Create, Combine, Distribute

Copyblogger: How to Write a Social Media Press Release

Take a look at this You-Tube video for a quick lesson in social media news releases:

This social media news release utilizes the images and hyperlinks to entice readers and provide additional information.

Times Live: Zuma to Captain Special Olympics Cup Squad

When creating a social media news release, Craig McGuire, of PRWeek, offers the following pointers:

  • Include links offering additional information
  • Place important terms in key positions like headlines and first paragraphs
  • Distribute releases through a service that carries hyperlinks to downstream sites
  • Don’t go link crazy- too many links confuse readers and make releases look sloppy
  • Don’t use low-resolution photos- high-resolution photos look better and are easier to use
  • The message comes first- use the “bells and whistles” after completing the message
  • Use bullets to convey key points
  • Be sure to provide contact information
  • Use short paragraphs with important information- skip the flab.

Social media news releases are an important part of social media and public relations today. From here, we can only go forward with social media- it is a growing part of public relations and can be utilized to benefit creators and viewers.


5 Responses to 'Social Media News Releases'

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  1. tabathapr said,

    Hey Maggie,
    You have got some great information posted. I loved watching the Youtube video. You have some great links for people to use. When people visit your blog it is evident that your blog will be very helpful and they will learn a lot from the information that you have given. I have enjoyed reading your blogs over the summer semester.

  2. aliciamd said,

    I love the SMNR you chose on Chick-fil-A! It is my dream to one day work in the PR department at the corporate office in Atlanta. I have been working at my local Chick-fil-A for 4.5 years and I love it! I have been a manager for about 3 of those years and the experience has taught me so much about leadership and serving others. Anyway, the spicy sandwich rollout was a HUGE hit. Chick-fil-A has sold over 7 million nationwide thus far. It’s really popular and I think the demand for the sandwich will continue to grow, as well as the percentage of total sales it generates in each unit. It is my understanding that Chick-fil-A will be rolling out spicy nuggets in January also.

  3. aliciamd said,

    I take back my comment on the nuggets! The date for that rollout has not yet been determined.

  4. […] Social Media News Releases–Maggie Crowley […]

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