A Great Social Media Release Example

25 November 2008

By Darrell Heaps



nh_101808_default_logo.gifWhen the SEC announced the new Reg. FD guidance, a flow of blog posts followed – many speculating on the net result of these new changes. More than one purported that the announcement would spell the death of the press release.

I’ve been following numerous bloggers and?Social Media Release (SMR) folks?on Twitter for several months now and I don’t think the new Reg. FD guidance will kill the press release.? If anything, press releases will evolve and take advantage of new media technologies such as SMRs.

Reg. FD states that an issuer doesn’t need to release ‘paper friendly’ disclosure, which leaves the door wide open for video, audio and more interactive press releases.? Anyway you slice it, at the end of the day a press release is all about marketing, plain and simple.? What better way to market your company than through a concise press release that includes a 2-minute video or audio clip of the release?

This really hit home for me when I read Overstock.com’s latest press release in SMR format.? Have a look at that link quickly, then come back, it’s ok, I’ll wait.? Great, now that you’ve seen that release, take a look at the text version Overstock.com posted on their site.

Which do you think is more effective?

On the SMR version, you can:

  • print it
  • email it
  • share it through any social network
  • comment on it
  • watch a short video overview
  • get related links
  • view press contacts
  • see a quick overview of the release
  • view images that augment the text

As an investor, this gave me a more favorable opinion of Overstock.com.? Here we go again… praising the distribution power of Twitter, but my network on Twitter brought this to my attention. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known about it.

The rise of SMRs and the use of?social media as an IR?marketing tool is inevitable given the new Reg. FD guidance.? When presented with a choice of viewing a quick summary and video clip over reading a press release, I would gladly watch the video and jot down notes, while still having the ability to view the full release if I wanted.? SMRs allows both and it’s a much better marketing tool than plain text.



Scott Buble

12 years ago

While it looks nice, it doesn’t really offer anything over similar releases that PRWeb, BusinessWire and others offer. For example, they also offer:

* Print it
* Email it
* Share it through social networks
* Videos
* Related links
* Press contacts
* Overview of the release
* Images

Additionally, compared to the likes of PRWeb and similar, Pitch Engine seems to have a far reduced reach. I notice that they reach Google News, but free services like PRLog, SanePR, 24/7 News Releases, 1888 Press Release and others offer this as well.

Don’t get me wrong – Pitch Engine seems a decent idea but it doesn’t strike me as being the perfect channel yet.

Jason Kintzler

12 years ago

@scott maybe I should clarify to help others understand the differences…
The services you mention are *distribution* services, not designed for the social web. Most services only offer embeded (non-printable) images to be distributed, etc. We integrate social apps for the SMR creators to utilize and then share them these ways as well.

Besides, PitchEngine let’s PR pros do all that for stuff (above) for free. (PR Web costs at least $200 per release to include video and other assets.) Also, our releases are comment enabled and can be directly tweeted to from the smr itself. Other services only offer bookmarking on social sites.

You must look at this from the PR pros perspective, it’s as much about cost and ease of use as it is about the reader who receives he release. For media, we’ve created a custom feed creator which allows them to search, filter and subscribe to relevant PR pitches.

In short, the old methods of PR distribution have their place, at least for now. And to Jason’s point, investor relations is no exception – changes are coming, and they won’t come in the form of traditional methods.

John Tindale

12 years ago

I worked for a college paper in the early 90s and I used to hate wading through the PRs. I think that this will breathe life into the press release, and I’m a little surprised it has taken this long.
I also like the way you distinguished between twitter as a whole, and your network on twitter because there is a clear difference.

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