Use Social Media for Online Press Releases
Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
Not long ago, when a company was looking for affordable, broad publicity, they would turn to a newspaper and a press release. Those days are nearly over, as social media has now become the greatest weapon in a PR practitioner’s arsenal. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all can be used as an inexpensive way to spread company news to a wide audience, and as a way to disseminate your uniform mission statement to all of your targeted publics.
A social media press release can do the job that two printed publications are needed to do. Social media can reach an external public by promoting new offers, announcing new products or store openings, and also garnering followers and Likes. It can also act as a corporate newsletter. Announce new hires, retirements or promotions with an email blast, or a Facebook message to all employees.
And social media allows for more aesthetic value that traditional press releases sorely lack. A normal press release is stuffed into the bottom of a newspaper page, replete with hyperbole and plain font that make it look like printed spam. An article on social media can be interactive, filled with examples and pertinent information that a reader will actually want to read. And you can optimize your headline and keywords for search engines to pick up. Your scope is far wider than any local newspaper could ever encompass. You can also take advantage of sites like Digg that compile news from all over the Internet.
PR professionals can also utilize social media as a conversational tool. They can tune into conversations that consumers are having as a result of their press releases, and they can participate and offer information on behalf of the company they represent. There are multiple tools out there for monitoring Tweets, use them to track feedback about your company and thank those who are praising your efforts and work to pacify those who are upset.
The old idea of a press release may be fading away. But the general principle of a press release will always be a staple of classic public relations. Your company, like any other, will always need affordable ways to reach an audience without using an elaborate advertising campaign that can cost boatloads of cash.
Being social media savvy and knowing when to send out a message, to your internal and external audiences, can be a highly effective and efficient tool for you to use.