Social media news distribution made easy

January 8th, 2009
Filed under: Social Media,Social Media Newsrooms — joel @ 9:00 am

Since early 2007 I’ve been urging clients to consider launching a social media newsroom, which is basically a Web 2.0 update on the corporate news page. There are now so many options for even the most modest budget, that companies really should give the social media newsroom a serious look. A social media newsroom will:

  • Make it fast and simple to post press releases, announcements, coverage, etc. to the web
  • Improve the online visibility of your news content
  • Allow easy bookmarking and sharing of news
  • Give your company a valuable crisis communications tool on standby
  • Drive traffic to your web site
  • Act as a social media “Trojan Horse” by giving your company exposure to social media tools and etiquette without requiring a more formal and more difficult venture into executive blogging

My January Talent Zoo column looks at some of the ways a company can get involved in social media news distribution, including a quick review of Jason Kinstler’s PitchEngine.



Calling for the death of declarations that the press release is dead

July 31st, 2008
Filed under: Social Media,Social Media Newsrooms — joel @ 2:23 pm

Yesterday’s news that the SEC has approved the use of company web sites for the distribution of information in compliance with Reg FD has been met with joy among proponents of the social media newsroom and social media press release, but I think some of this jubilance is misplaced and self-serving.

If you’re not familiar with Reg FD (Regulation Full Disclosure), it’s the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation governing full and fair disclosure of financial information for publicly held companies. Reg FD governs things like reporting methods, frequency, quiet periods, etc., and publicly traded companies must manage communications carefully to avoid running afoul of the SEC.

The SEC, and chairman Christopher Cox, are to be applauded for bringing the agency into the 21st century so boldly. Cox even recorded a video and referred to “Atom” and RSS!

But going back to my original point, I’m not sure why it is so important to sound the death knell for the press release. I hate to break it to you folks, but company news posted on a company blog IS a press release that happens to be published on Web 2.0 infrastructure. Maybe it also went out on the wire and maybe it didn’t. It’s not important.

Will Offend

I’m sure there was plenty of dancing in the streets when press releases started to go out by Telex instead of surface mail, and then by fax, and then by e-mail…But the excitement (and I use the term loosely) generated by the prospect of the death of the press release over the course of YEARS is a manufactured excitement and is as tedious as the ersatz suspense in an episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

What HAS been dead, forever, is lobbing untargeted press releases randomly at bloggers and journalists and hoping they stick. We should not confuse blogger/media relations with random, unfocused pitching.

On the other hand, the press release certainly continues to evolve, and unless you’re trying to impress a handful of very vocal bloggers, continues to be highly relevant. An October 2007 study* by Bulldog and TekGroup International surveyed over 2000 traditional journalists and found that far and way, “receiving press releases by e-mail” was the most popular means of learning about company news, with 78% of respondents preferring it above other methods.

And while TechCrunch links to Cox’s speech on the announcement, many of the posts I have read link to the SEC press release.

Let’s here and now declare declarations of the death of the press release dead. It’s been done. To death.

* Free registration required. The study was conducted on Survey Monkey, and is a little unclear in how the participants were selected, but the results are still worth factoring when deciding whether to dump the press release from your media strategy

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Call for contributions: Aug. 14 Social Media Newsroom presentation at Ragan eBay

July 9th, 2008

If you’re involved with Social Media Newsrooms, Social Media News Releases or any similar Web 2.0-based news distribution method, I’d love to feature your company, service or site in my presentation August 14, from 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. at Ragan Communications’ “Corporate Communications and the Social Media Revolution,” to be held at eBay’s headquarters in San Jose, California. The new deadline for submission of materials is Friday, July 24, 2008! I will give away two stylish Socialized t-shirts to two randomly selected entries.

My session is titled The Social Media Newsroom: News Now. Everywhere. I want to feature the latest and greatest in newsroom deployments at companies of all sizes and types. If you’d like to be included in the presentation, please email me as soon as possible a one- to two-page brief on each newsroom you’d like me to include, along with your contact information. If you have slides that might be useful, you can email those too. I am compiling a resource list to give to attendees, so if your company designs, deploys and manages social media newsrooms, please give me your info for inclusion in that list.

I’ve created a template for submitting a newsroom for inclusion. Download it here, and modify freely. Send materials to

Thank you!

Ragan Communications is offering a $200 conference discount for Socialized blog readers who register for the August conference. Enter the code SPK8 when you register.

I hope to see you there.


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Update: social media newsroom presentation at Ragan eBay

May 15th, 2008
Filed under: Social Media,Social Media Newsrooms,Speaking — joel @ 2:11 pm

Ragan Communications is offering a $200 conference discount for Socialized blog readers who register for the August conference “Corporate Communications and the Social Media Revolution,” to be held at eBay’s headquarters in San Jose, California. Enter the code SPK8 when you register.

My session on The Social Media Newsroom: News Now. Everywhere. is August 14, from 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. I hope you can be there.


Please visit my page on Social Media Newsrooms and leave links below to newsrooms you’ve worked on, or that you think are great examples that I could show in my presentation. Thanks!

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Facebook group for Social Media Newsrooms

April 21st, 2008
Filed under: Social Media,Social Media Newsrooms — joel @ 4:38 pm

If you’re interested in Social Media Newsrooms, either as a corporate communicator looking at this concept for your company, or as a public relations or communications professional consulting to other businesses, please check out the new Social Media Newsroom Facebook group I launched today. I’m hoping the group serves as a place to share links, client successes, and talk about just what a Social Media Newsroom is and what it can do for clients.

This is a brand new group, so any ideas you have on what it can be, please start a discussion in the group. I’m also hoping that a few interested people step up and offer to be group admins, officers, etc. Once we get enough people, maybe we can have meet-ups at some of this year’s conferences.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of a Social Media Newsroom, please check out the group, visit SHIFT’s web site and Todd Defren’s blog to learn what they’re doing, and take a look at the page on this site that links to some newsrooms deployed by Electrolux, GM Europe, Seagate, Ustream.TV and others. There’s also an interesting discussion here. (Scroll down and read the comments.)

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