Press Release Gone Social

February 16, 2012 by · Comments Off on Press Release Gone Social 

You’re hip to social media, right? You’ve got a Facebook Page, a Twitter account, YouTube channel and more.
Your email newsletter goes out regularly. You write an article from time to time.

Now, you’re planning a press release to talk about business expansion or some other newsworthy topic. You’re hoping to garner some free media in order to make a bigger splash.

How about updating the “old school” press release before you go further? Hint: I’m not advocating blasting the release to hundreds of sites. That’s spam.

Instead, settle back and consider some creative ways to utilize social media for increased visibility.

Here are 10 ways to make your next press release more socially effective:

  1. Post your press release on your website. In today’s info-laden world, content is king. Your press release adds fresh content to your site, helping it attract search engines. One client pointed a reporter on deadline to online information and thus was part of a feature because background information could be accessed immediately.
    • An interactive website lets visitors share articles to other places online. Even a rating system such as “thumbs up” encourages people to share.
    • Social media icons advertise your community involvement, tell customers where to find you and let visitors help spread the word.
  2. Blog your press release. A blog post allows permalinks for your information, making it more searchable.
    • You may also choose to create a Google customized URL or a link shortener such as Bitly.
    • These options let you track click throughs to discover traffic sources.
  3. Share from Facebook. One thing we know: the Facebook audience likes to stay on Facebook. Make it easy for your audience to get information from Facebook as you share from your Facebook business page.
    • Many widgets allow for automated sharing, so your post could also be funneled to Twitter.
    • Do you have other social communities? Investigate Facebook apps to find additional options.
    • Of course, your press release can and should contain a link to your website.
  4. Post a photo. A dramatic photo about your topic makes a perfect complement for a press release. (NOTE: This is not a posed mugshot.) Photos capture more attention than text.
    • Upload a photo to your favorite social site: think FAcebook pages, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr and more.
    • Submit a great photo to local TV channels and request coverage.
  5. Use invitations to highlight an event. Send an invitation to your followers on Facebook. Launch an E-vite, or, create a MeetUp. List-serves such as Yahoo Groups, if you belong, or dozens of others offer promotion opportunities. If you’re looking to build public attendance at an event, promote early and often and don’t hesitate to remind people.
  6. Tweet. Use Twitter’s 140 characters to provide some detail or, tweet a link to your release.
  7. Record a podcast offering more details or background information on the press release topic and post it. People prefer to get your information on their terms. For those audio-oriented people, a podcast may be perfect.
  8. Make a video. Film an appropriate product demonstration, for example, or include a company spokesperson giving more details about the press release. Customer testimonials add another dimension of authenticity.
  9. Choose an infographic to provide details about a survey you’ve produced or research you’ve done. This could be the piece that goes viral.
  10. Finally, leverage Google+. From your company brand page you can share to your circles and request others do the same. Given the power of Google’s search engines it only makes sense to utilize this resource.

As you add social media to press release, don’t ignore the power of your company newsletter or your email campaigns. 
In the quest for free publicity, we often forget our customers. Social media helps us cultivate and honor those relationships.

What other social avenues can you think of for your press release?