A little reality check on the Social Media News Release

Posted by Brenda Thompson on May 20, 2020 at 4:30 pm

At Austin’s sold-out Social Media Club meeting last Thursday night, I admit feeling a bit of relief upon learning that I’m not as behind the curve as I feared. Panelist Omar Gallaga, who writes about technology culture for the Austin American-Statesman, told us that he didn’t know what a social media press release was until he was asked to speak at the meeting, and furthermore, most of his colleagues at the newspaper don’t know about or use RSS, Technorati or del.icio.us, can’t download or view videos on the Statesman’s computer systems and don’t have time to explore the blogosphere.

While conceding that some features of the SMPR are useful and welcome, Omar says successful pitching is about the PR professional’s relationship with the reporter. The content of the pitch, several audience members noted, is still the most important factor in getting a reporter’s interest. Many reporters get hundreds of emails a day, most irrelevant to their work, and detest getting unsolicited photos and .pdf files. Nothing new or surprising there.

While I am super excited (as geeky as that sounds) about incorporating social media tools into my work, I’m being a bit cautious, learning all that I can, and reminding myself that the story is still the most important part of a pitch, whether it’s to traditional media or to bloggers. As Todd Defren, creator of the SMPR says: it “merely amplifies prospective source materials; it does not replace a well-crafted, customized pitch nor replace the need to provide basic, factual news to the media.”

Category: Public Relations, Social Media, Social Media Club

  • Add this post to
  • Del.icio.us -
  • Digg


Comment by Todd Defren

Made May 21, 2020 at 8:48 am

Heya -
I am not surprised that Mr. Gallaga was unfamiliar with the SMPR. It’s new. And I am also not surprised that he considered some features useful and welcome. ;)

One other thing to keep in mind is that the SMPR is (in part) also meant to democratize access to news: everyone from an Austin American-Statesman reporter to a blogger to your Dear Old Aunt Sally ought to be empowered to see and do more with news-related content. It’s not just about the media. It’s about the community that may choose to interact and respond to the news.

Comment by Aruni Gunasegaram

Made May 21, 2020 at 1:48 pm

Sorry I missed the meeting. I hope to make it to the next one. I am learning a lot about social media myself (with your wonderful help of course). Sometimes it feels like trying to drink a waterfall. :-)


Comment by Brenda Thompson

Made May 22, 2020 at 8:07 am

hi Todd! Thanks for your comment-AND for creating such an amazing new template available to all. Your generosity is inspiring.

Comment by Brenda Thompson

Made May 22, 2020 at 8:12 am

Aruni, great analogy. Connie is mentoring a lot of us!

Comment by Mary Summerall

Made May 23, 2020 at 11:59 am

Well-put. Thanks for the reminder that social media can be a valuable component in a larger plan, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. (Nothing is, I suppose.) I appreciate you keeping focused on the big picture - it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of that in the excitement over new possibilities.

Comment by Deltina Hay

Made May 26, 2020 at 10:08 pm

Hi Connie, et al!

Funny, I ran into this post while researching purpose built del.icio.us pages for the SMNR I am building for Kelley Burrus based on Todd Defren’s template (that is how i found this - by going to SHIFT’s purpose built page). Thank you, Todd, the template is extraordinarily helpful.

I agree with all of the above. I don’t think an SMNR can replace a pitch, nor do I think it should - it seems to me a dangerous thing, just putting the news out there and hoping it “takes.” But I also agree that putting that news potentially in anyone’s hands is a good thing, nay, a great thing.

It seems to me that viewing a SMNR as a tool is a safer way to go. Imagine that once a pitch is successful, you can send the media one link and they will have more than they could possibly use. Yes, that would be one link to rule them all (sorry).

Not to mention the TREMENDOUS, did I mention T-R-E-M-E-N-D-O-U-S SEO such a page would lend to any site.

OK, back to it - hope to have Kelley’s ready for launch this coming week!

Comments are now closed.

Enter your email address: