Social Media Press Release – What’s more important, the look or the data?

Real Metadata
When I think social media, words like knowledge – people – conversation – share – inform come to mind, not format – standardization – template – branded. The idea behind a Social Media Press Release (SMPR) template is flawed, why put yourself, your company, your product in the box right from the start?

The most well known one is Shift Communication’s SMPR template, there is also a SMPR Creation Tool based on Shift’s template. The template is 100% open, with no copyright and they do say “We hope it can serve as a helpful guide to kickstart thinking about how we can evolve the PR sector. Maybe it can serve as a talking points memo to show to clients, to convince them to give it a try?” When I take a look at it in action here and here – it makes my point which Brian Oberkirch states perfectly, “We should start by using established & emerging Web standards that impact the structure of our information and not the fake formatting of these templates.”

The importances of a press release is to be heard, shared and to start a conversation – this needs more than words, photos and links. Let’s look at semantic metadata, which provided rich, structured data and allows that data to be used in Web 2.0 applications (mash-ups, etc..) and Social Media integration and searches. The metadata makes the SMPR easier for a person to track, parse and reuse.

One of the upcoming semantic metadata formats for SMPR is hRelease. hRelease is an open, social media news release standard that encourages the electronic distribution of news across the Internet. hRelease will allow news authors to create a single copy of their online release and share it electronically with wire services, members of the press, and the public. The goal of the hRelease format is to enable a simple way to markup news, allowing authors to share news through blogs, personal and corporate websites, web feeds, and any other online repository.

Be different and creative, design the SMPR based on your company, product and/or service and use the current or emerging web standards, not a template. Utilize an open social media news service like hRelease to share and engage your audience with the release. These differences will bring ‘conversation’ and the semantic metadata will allow everyone to use it, reuse it, track it, share it – and that’s what Social Media is all about.

Ignite Social Media