It’s obvious that social media is booming and not going to relax anytime soon, and now it is being integrated ever-so-deeply into our professions. While this can be a great innovation, we must consider there is a time and place for everything.
Social media news releases are some of the newest entities in the world of public relations. In his post “Kent State interns turn classroom lesson into social-media initiative,” Bill Sledzik says that “SMRs are versatile tools, especially for reaching consumer audiences.” This new tool allows public relations practitioners to juice-up their news releases with audio, video, photos, sound and make them more interactive. Sounds great right? You would think all people are more willing to look at a release if they are more appealing to the eye, but is it reasonable to think that SMRs should completely replace the old news releases?
Associate professor in Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University, Bill Sledzik gave an example of the Kent State interns who used archived pictures, videos and more to spruce up a social media news release for a campaign that aimed at boosting employee pride in an old company. The overall effect of the SMR helped the story by making it richer in content, it gave it a sense of realness that people could relate to.
This is a great example for when to use SMRs. They wanted to make an impact on attitudes and by having the visual components people could relate much easier and really feel with the company. Another great way to use SMRs would be for sales- why not post pictures and videos of your new product for the consumer to see first-hand?
So, the SMR can help with behavioral and attitudinal objectives-does that mean they can always be used? Should every news release we send out now contain multiple components of a SMR? Is it worth our time and money to make SMRs? It’s a great new tool, but should we be afraid of over-using it?