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T.O.W. #15: Social Media News Release

April. 26. 2010.

Ian Roberts best defines the Social Media News Release in his blog Trend in Communications. In his post, It’s time to expand media relations, he quotes:   

“a release designed specifically with the blog, citizen media and social media communities in mind.   

It does not include the ‘spin’ of the traditional press release, but provides multimedia content in an accessible format that can easily be repurposed and shared on blogs, websites and social networks. Unlike the traditional press release, the content of the social media news release is deconstructed so that the core facts, quotes, contact details and boilerplate are all individually segregated to allow users to disseminate its various elements.  

It can accommodate links to relevant websites, images, audio and video (including embedded social media video including YouTube) – and any amount of background information.  Ideally, the release is tagged for distribution to social networking distribution sites and RSS feeds.”   

Here are some different views on whether it should replace the tradition News Release or implement it and why you would use one over a News Release:   


What is a social media news release? by Ian Roberts  

How to Write a Social Media Press Release by Muhammad Saleem  

  • Saleem says that regular press releases fail in the presence of social media releases  because of 3 main things:
  1. They have the wrong singular focus, which is on the company issuing the release.
  2. They are full of marketing-speak that inherently engenders mistrust in the eyes of the social media audience.
  3. They don’t have a specific audience in mind, and are written broadly and presented blandly.


Why Use Social Media With Your Press Release? by Lee Odden  

  • The SMNR appeals to today’s web-savvy audience.
  • It is promotes the idea of engaging conversation and hearing people’s comments on the story.


The Definitive Guide to Social Media Releases by Brian Solis  

  • Press Releases introduce a story in one way; a Social Media News Release can implement a story in a number of ways.
  • He brings up an interesting point: “Wanna know what the industry’s most authentic Social Media product is? Blogs.”
  • With this belief, he is a little skeptical of the rise of SMNRs. Blogs tend to be ingenuous, open, and not always accurate.
  • But he does have hope for SMR services to come. He believes they will improve.


Social Media News Release by Social Media Training  

  • The SMNR is optimised for search, optimised for conversation, optimised for sharing, tells the entire story through multimedia, provides context on complicated stories, makes a better impression, visually, than a wire release
  • It appeals to bloggers and podcasters.
  • This article even goes to the very origins of the Social Media News Release with Tom Foremski in 2006. Foremski called the traditional news release useless and artificial. He challenged the PR industry to rethink their strategy.


social media news release by realwire  

  • This articles states that the SMNR is more efficient than the traditional News Release because it is more user-friendly for the media, bloggers and consumers. It provides information in a multidimensional  way. It enables you to step out the box and embed audio, video and graphics along with a relevant news bites, quotes and other information.
  • “The pitches would allow for blog style comments to be attached to them so readers could engage the company in conversation about announcements. “


  • In this article the advantage of creating awareness through the ability of sharing a social media news release is stressed.
  • A Social Media News Release is written more creatively than a typical News Release.

Chapter 14: E-mail, Memos, Letters, Proposals, and Reports

April. 24. 2010.

Public Relations: Writing and Media Techniques

by Dennis L. Wilcox

The Challenge of Information Overload

  • The solution is to follow these rules:
  1. Completeness: make sure it contains the information needed to serve its purpose
  2. Conciseness: less is better
  3. Correctness: be accurate in everything you write
    courtesy: the writing should be polite but not effusive, personal but not overly familiar
  4. Responsibility: make sure you come across how you want to sound Think about how your communication will be perceived by the recipient



  • Purpose: reduces cost of employee communication, increases the distribution of messages to more employees, flattens the corporate hierarchy, and speeds up decision-making
  • Advantages: good for keeping up with events, making arrangements and appointments, and reviewing or editing documents



  • memo for short – a brief written message
  • can serve almost any purpose
  1. ask for information
  2. supply information
  3. ask for a meeting
  4. confirm a verbal exchange
  5. remind
  6. state a policy
  7. or any other function that requires a written message


Every memo should contain

  1. Date
  2. To
  3. From
  4. Subject
  5. Message


Letter: a more formal document than an e-mail or even a memo

  • personal letter to a specific individual
  • less personal but often a form letter about a specific situation sent to a large number of people



  • Section: the background of the firm, the client’s situation, goals, and objects of the proposed program, key messages, basic strategies and tactics, general timeline of activities, proposed budget, how success will be measured, and a description of the team that will handle the account
  • Purpose: to get something accomplished, to persuade management to approve and authorize some important action that will have long-lasting effect on the organization or its people


Annual Report

  • most expensive and time-consuming report prepared by an organization
  • fairly extensive printed document complete with photos, chats, text, and color that resembles an elaborate brochure

T.O.W. #14: Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling

April. 23. 2010.

In the News University course titled Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling, I learned to have a multidimensional story in terms of media. I should take advantage of each form of media to tell my story in the best way possible. This will draw in readers and appeal to a larger number of them.

Always carry your equipment in a little camera-like bag. If you ae flying, be sur not to check the bag. Carry it on the plane with you. Be prepared at all times! Also, airlines could lose that set of vital gear.

The five types of media that were highlighted were video, audio, still photos, graphics, and text.

In video, be sure that they are short. Do not bore the viewers with a video longer tha 3 or 4 minutes. When using people to talk to the camera as in an interview, keep talking heads to a few seconds and make sure to capture their environment and what they do when you are not interviewing them. Also, videos on the Internet sometimes can’t handle fast movement, so keep that to a minimum.

Audio should always high-quality. If it is not absolutely clearly audible, use subtitles. Avoid background music unless it is absolutely needed for the story.

This most important and insightful thing to me was this: Photos are used to replace 1,000 words not as accessories to words. I have never viewed photos as that before. Photos can also be used in two ways: to tell story individually or to tell a story as a slide show would—sequentially.

Use Flash to animate Graphics, which can be used as the centerpiece of a story.

Since text can be used as a crutch when other media fails. Make sure that is left for last after the rest of the media in the story has been completed. Text works best for first person stories, political stories, analysis, op-ed pieces and short updates.

Stupid Band Photos

April. 21. 2010.

Stupid Band Photos

by Josh Fernandez

Being that my client is a band, I needed to do some research on how to take a good band photo. What better way than to read up on how not to take a band photo?

As a worship band, we have to make sure that our photo is not offensive or inappropriate in any way. We could not do a shot dressed like this:


It also cannot be unprofessional like this one:


Or too abstract like this one:


Fernandez goes into more detail about these shots and more.

CPR had their first shoot this February.  The photos were typical and consisted of the:

V-formation stance,

the side view,

the group ‘we love each other’ shot,

and the boys segregated from girls photo.

For the next shoot, however, they want to take the art up a thousand notches and think outside the box. We have been talking about recreating an ER room. This shoot would have the purpose of two distinct shots in the same pose. The first shot would have each band member holding/using medical tools/appliances and the other would have them using their instruments. Like I said, it would be in the same exact pose, so this is going to be challenging.

For example, Jeremy (drummer) would obviously be holding two drumsticks that would replace to defibrillation paddles and Michelle (keys) would play keys that would replace a cardiac monitor (since some have keyboards attached to it).

Instead of a play on words, it’s a play on instruments.

Chapter 13: The World Wide Web

April. 16. 2010.

Public Relations: Writing and Media Techniques

by Dennis L. Wilcox

The Growth of the World Wide Web

  • The Worldwide adoption of the Internet has taken less time than the growth of an other mass medium
  • why it enables public relations people to do a better job of communication:
  1. information can be updated quickly
  2. it allows interactivity; viewers can ask question about products or service, download information of value to them, and let the organization know what they think
  3. online readers can dig deeper into subjects that interest them by linking to information provided on other sites, other articles, and sources
  4. online information is not limited by the space constrictions of print
  5. it is a cost-effective method of disseminating information on a global basis to the public and journalists

What materials in an online “press room” are most useful to a journalist:

  • Contact information
  • Search tool
  • Company background
  • Financial data
  • Company history and executive profiles
  • News
  • Multimedia
  • Graphics and usability
  • Down-loadable material

When You Write Online

  • Write the way you talk
  • Limit each page to a single concept
  • Use a lot of bullet-point lists
  • Make sure each page provides the context readers need
  • Limit the use of italics and boldface
  • Don’t overuse hyperlinks within narrative text
  • Make sure your hyperlinks are relevant
  • Provide feedback options for readers

When You Build a Website

  • Have the “vision” of how you want your organization to be perceived by the public
  • You need a copy-writer to write the text
  • You need a graphic artist to add the visual element
  • You need a computer programmer to put the ideas together in the HTML code for the Internet

Jakob Nielsen’s List of Additional Design Elements that Increases the Usability of Virtually All Sites

  • Place your organization’s name and logo on every page
  • Provide a “search” tab if the site has more than 100 pages
  • Write straightforward and simple headlines and page titles that clearly explain what the page is about and that will make sense when read out of context in a search engine results listing
  • Structure the page to facilitate scanning and help users ignore large chunks of pages in a single glance.
  • For example, use grouping and subheadings to break a long list several smaller units
  • Don’t cram everything about the product or topic into a single page

PR Ethics on the Web

  • Tell the truth at all times
  • Tell the full story
  • Know your subject
  • Rely on credible sources for expert advice
  • Offer opportunities for dialogue and interaction with experts
  • Correct misinformation that is online
  • Provide counsel on privacy, security, and other trust issues
  • Compile case studies on the best use of new media

How to Talk Web-speak

  • Bandwidth: deals with how much info can be sent or received at once
  • Browser: a computer application that enables you to get to the Web and view pages
  • GIF: Graphics Interchange Format, a standard graphics file format
  • HTML: Hypertext Markup Language; the standard scripting codes used to create Web pages
  • Firewall: a form of technical security that protects computers and networks from hackers, viruses, etc.
  • IT: Information Technology; acronym for departments within organizations that are responsible for computer-related activities
  • Router: a device that determines the next network point to which a packet of information should be forwarded
  • URL: Universal Resource Locator; the unique address for a Web site
  • Wallpaper: the background in which the text or graphics are embedded

T.O.W. # 13: PR Pet Peeves

April. 12. 2010.

So You Wanna Annoy a PR Person?? It’ Simple!

  • Give wrong information without any research. It’s not like they’ll lose their job or anything.
  • Make sure the comments on a website are presented in a way that makes them scroll to the bottom of the page to see the newest comments. Watching a webpage scroll is pretty fun!
  • Present all the comments on a website with a ridiculously small number of entries per page, like five, so that if a thread has 25 replies, you need to click onto five different pages to see them all. “Artificially inflating” a page is totally in.
  • Call them saying, “Did you get my news release?”  Don’t even think about automatically assuming that it was received it was sent using a regular channel of distribution such as first-class mail, a courier service, fax, or e-mail.
  • Call them to see when a story will be used. Most reporters are mostly sitting around their desk anyway, right? We are actually giving them something to do when we call. We are a helpful, little reminder. And of course it is ridiculous to assume that they do not know when the story will be used, or even if it will be used. It’s not like the editors make that decision based on time and the space available or anything.
  • Be sloppy with your News Release. Like I said before, reporters do not have much to do. They can afford to waste time. Don’t even bother to edit and proofread and correct little mistakes. Don’t bother to make it easier for them. They can handle it.
  • Take them out to lunch to talk about things other than business. They need to have some fun every now and then. Take a while to talk about your possible story or give background on some upcoming event.
  • Load their inbox with spam mail. Don’t make your e-mail short and to the point. Don’t be specific in the subject line. The problem with our society today is that we are so cut and dry.
  • Call them in the middle of the night to pitch a story. Go ahead and pitch that story that can wait until later to them at dawn. Even more convenient for you? Do it when they are halfway across the world. This way, you aren’t up at dawn.

Comments #21-25

April. 10. 2010.

My Master’s Voice

Smart but Inadequate

Comment #21

My Comment: For a while now, I’ve felt inadequate when it comes to “fulfilling God’s will for my life.” What is it that I should be doing right now to help me get there? Should I be there already? Is that a sign that I shouldn’t be doing what I feel God is calling me to do? Am I wrong in thinking I could ever really be adequate as a worship leader? Then my friend told me of this passage that God had given to me about a month ago, but I honestly forgot about it: Exodus 4:10-15. God’s attracted to inadequacy. I just need Him to work on me…and patiently know that He is still faithful through the process.


poll dance: are you the temperamental artist-type?

by Carolee Sherwood

Comment #22

My Comment: As an artist, it’s difficult to remain in the “consciousness” that non-artists are in. If you’re an artist yourself, you know exactly what I’m talking about. People see you and wonder where on earth you’re coming from? And you’re easily lost in your own dimension. Non-artists think we’re crazy for thinking like that. They see us placing our work before food, water, money, and our reputation; and therefore, call us ridiculous, temperamental, and emotional. Or, worse, hobbyists! We get lost within our creativity so easily. To be on the same page with the rest of world is a rare entity. I try not to rant on about the simple beauty of grass while I’m talking to my professor about letting me turn in a paper a day late. Yes, he may ask, “Isn’t it gorgeous outside?” But I have to be in my “non-artist mode” right now. And because I don’t really care for the decor of insane asylums, I try not to make people uncomfortable because my mind is currently in complete artistic surrender. There’s a middle ground between being on the same page with those that may not understand our artistic tendencies and yielding to them…I call it wayward consciousness.

The dictionary defines wayward as “swayed or prompted by whimsical-ity.” It also defines consciousness as “the state of being aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.” If I were to rewrite the dictionary and give all those Websters a run for the money, I would redefine the word wayward as “a state of pulled out of a nature that is rebelliously or irregularly artistic.” I like the way Webster defines consciousness, so I’d leave it in this new dictionary of mine. If we put those two definitions together, you get: “being aware that one’s emotions, existence, sensations, thoughts, and surroundings tend to be rebelliously or irregularly artistic.”


Formal Blog of Diane D.M. Solis

Comment #23

My Comment: Webster defines creativity as the ability to create something new. Something that isn’t new is old. And something that is old is on the brink of death. Contrary to the popular opinion, I equate an individual’s creativity (be it in the form of music, fashion, art, architecture, literature, etc.) to that of the value of human life. Astonishing, you say? Let’s think this through. If I, for some ridiculous reason, could never createmy life would end. The only way my work would end, is if my life itself ended first. Therefore, creativity is equal to human life.

Generate More Publicity by Practicing ‘PR Etiquette 101′ 
by Diana Laverdure

Comment #24

My Comment: Some people do not realize how bus and hectic the average day of reports and PR people can be. They need to have their time respected. Above all, many people make the mistake of hassling reporters on their stories, not using first-class main, or taking them out to lunch and other events without being prepared to discuss a possible news release or an upcoming event. It is also really important to be short and to the point in e-mils to them. Also, write a detailed subject line. I am the manager and image consultant of a rock band. Like musicians, reporters are in a world of their own. You need to understand their habits before being  able to work with them.

How to Choose Between Mac and PC for Recording Music

by Henry

Comment #25

My Comment: Every single member in the rock band that I am manage and image consulting right now uses a Mac. I am looking to start recording some music myself over the summer. This was a little helpful. However, you were right when you said that it does sound like it is bashing Apple computers. But I have heard that having the only programs such as Logic, Reason, and Pro Tools on your computer is worth it because those are the best ones in the market. Are there any state-of-art recording software that you would highly recommend that would not be able to run on a Mac?