Lee Odden

Why Use Social Media With Your Press Release?

Social Media News Release – Separating Fact From Fiction

Of the many motivating factors for the use of social media press releases, there are two driving forces that stand out: The changing needs of the end consumer and increasing ease of use for the media.


Due to the increasingly social and sharing nature of the web and the increasing importance of press releases as direct to consumer communication tools, it is important for marketers and public relations professionals to adjust their message format and delivery to correspond with the needs of today’s web savvy audience.

Another motivator for using social media with news releases is that editorial resources at many publications are running thinner than ever and expected to do more with less. Social media press releases provide links to additional resources that are helpful for story research and they also package information into formats that are easy to use for quotes and citing references/statistics. Images, audio and video also add impact to the release.

Facilitating news distribution and consumption by utilizing social media elements provides the social media savvy Internet audience with information in a format that is familiar and more functional than a traditional press release. Encouraging the sharing of news via social bookmarks, social news, image and video sharing as well as subscribing to news via RSS provides the news publisher multiple options for meeting the information consumption needs of consumers as well as the media.

In essence, a well written and produced social media press release will make it easier for a journalist to write the story they are tasked with and in a format that is increasingly popular with end consumers.

A few examples of social media press releases:

With video (from Eric Ward)
Anasoft Introduces an All New 3-D Screensaver Just in Time for Halloween

An interesting use of PRWeb
Chevy Presents a Great Opportunity to U.S. College Students

And the one that started it all:
SHIFT Communications Debuts First-Ever Template for “Social Media Press Release”

While additional media and formatting improve the impact these releases can have, the real opportunity with social media press releases is the integration of SEO tactics. As a robust and “social” source of information, the social media press release is of great value, but optimizing that release from a keyword and content perspective provides a distinct competitive advantage.

Think of it along the lines of making a great looking web site. If no one can find it, it’s not worth much. By optimizing the web site to make it easier for searchers to find, you maximize the medium. If you create a robust press release using social media AND you optimize for news search engines, then you’ve made it easy for both the media and end consumers to find your news. That’s the one two punch of social media and optimized press releases.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar Garrett Smith says


    Do you advocate companies sending out/creating both traditional and social media press releases? For instance, Wize, seems to have both – a social media press release and a traditional press release about the same news – If you do recommend both, do you send them both out through a service such as PRWeb.com?

  2. Hi Garrett, in the case of Wize we created both traditional and social media press releases. We used PRWeb to distribute the traditional press release and then posted the keyword optimized social media press release as an HTML web page.

    We also created an email pitch template and MS Word Doc template based on the social media format.

  3. Here is the digg article guys.

  4. Awesome post, Lee. The key is “well written and produced.” The best SEO/SEM can’t help a crappy release. 😉

    I blogged about this (tangentially) at my blog.

  5. Jeniffer is this a new way to spam or what the heck ?

  6. Heh, I edited out the “spam” part of her comment Cristian. 🙂

  7. Cool, thanks 🙂

  8. Using social media in press releases is a wonderful idea and one that I will be taking advantage of. Great blog.


  9. Hey Brian, no problem. Thank you for the inspiration to write the above post. There’s going to be a lot more written about the compound value of optimized releases and social media news releases forthcoming. I will in fact, be speaking about this very topic at the WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Las Vegas Nov 14-17.

  10. Lee, again, another great post. Thanks for keeping this important topic in the spotlight. Here’s a related post for your readers as well – and thank you for an insightful quote.

  11. Feakin’ spammers.

  12. Interesting. I got turned on to this last night at the Boston SMG event. If adding video and Delicious links (why Delicious?) and tags to press releases is what this is all about, its a good start.

    Clarification, tags are not “Technorati” or any other company. They can be used/accesed via many blog and traditional search engines. In fact, I bet someone will come up with a specific Delicious clone for press releases. Only a million people use Delicious, whereas many more use Yahoo bookmarking service. And why Flickr? I love and use it daily, but who decided that was the place to stuff all your images? Just wondering if anyone is thinking about this stuff.

    How about digging into the Atom specification and seeing what’s in there that could be used to further improve the usability and readability of news?

    I can see parsers going through press releases, finding tags, looking up related tags, jumping over to other releases and digging up much deeper meaning in terms of the how the news relates to the space the company competes in.

    The specification seems more like a better practices guide. I was expecting more RSS, search and linking capabilities, which is what real microformats are about.

  13. David, one of the important reasons to use social media in press releases is for the audience. Delicious links are not for bookmarking in a press release, they are links to a collection of resources hosted at Delicious for journalists – to make it easier for them to write a story on the topic being pitched.

    The microformats issue with news releases is something under discussion and development over at the New Media Release Group

  14. Good point Ed. Regarding Google and Korea, I wonder how much of it has to do with localization. It seems Google will be allocating more human resources to the region and perhaps nore feet on the ground will give them the insight they need to better compete.

  15. Fantastic article! I have always told my clients to consider their press releases as mirror images of their own website and to use SEO and Social Media to maximize visibility.

    On a slightly different topic, have you heard of the Korean search engine, “Naver”?


    I think this is a great example of how social media can hold its ground against Google.

    Instead of relying on Google algorithms, Koreans prefer tapping into their social communities as resources.


  16. I believe some of Google’s troubles can be pointed to localization but the USA Today article seems to imply that most of the disconnect is cultural.

    If Google indeed allocates more “human” resources, perhaps the y can bridge the gap and give their site the Wikipedia experience that Koreans are seeking.

  17. Avatar Jennifer Smart says

    With the Social Media Release would you send it to Bloggers as a pitch or would you use a traditional pitch without all the tags? Is the SMPR just useful to newswire services, what other channels can I utilize with a SMPR?

  18. Jennifer, the links to Todd and Brian’s sites will offer one perspective on the SMNR. If using it in conjunction with a pitch to bloggers, you would include a link to the SMNR within the pitch. The SMNR would provide the blogger additional resources with which to understand the story idea – images, audio, video, bookmarks to other resources, etc.

    Some of the newswires support elements of the SMNR or the actual template from SHIFT.

    We’ve found that a SMNR as a web page, or one page media center, can be very productive as a PR focused SEO tactic. Ranking well in the news and standard search engines for keywords related to the story can be instrumental in a pull PR strategy. Both consumers and journalists/bloggers pull themselves to your news through search.


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