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Flash Forward to the New 'Social' Press Release
By: Jeannine Wheeler
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Wondering if you should still be pounding out press releases? The industry consensus is still a yes; however, if you’re ignoring the "social" aspect,  you’re not taking full advantage of the exercise.

“Simply put, social media has made today’s press release more strategic — especially for companies and their agencies trying to create a brand, make a mark and build a customer base,” says PR Newswire in its report Tips for Creating a Press Release that Maximizes Social Sharing.

Here are PR Newswire’s top tips for creating the "social" press release.

It doesn’t look the same
Best practice in the social era involves embedding photos, videos, and infographics — all of which can increase interest and sharing on social media.

It doesn’t sound the same
PR professionals have rewritten the press release style guide for social uptake, emphasizing tweetable headlines and quotes, better storytelling, and more conversational language over jargon or terminology understood mainly by industry insiders.

Its range of subjects has expanded
Press releases now highlight "owned media," such as white papers, executive blogs, and other content marketing pieces right in the mix with more classic announcements of products, promotions, and results.

Its audience has changed
The ratio of clients, prospects, consumers, and investors continues to grow relative to journalists — a good thing in a changing information landscape in which more audiences are open to more sources in addition to ‘traditional’ media.

Its shelf life has increased
PR professionals now socialize various angles of their press release over time, across different networks and channels.

It has a new sense of purpose
No longer only a tool to get media coverage — though clearly this is still important — the press release today also supports goals that include increasing brand exposure, capturing leads, and driving traffic to the company website.

Make it easy to share
Write your release so that CEO quotes, significant details, and links are tweetable right from the release.

Words are key
Use keywords that resonate with your audiences and write headlines that can tee up well on Twitter (100 characters or less is best) and that work well with search engines (which will cut off your headline at about 60 characters).

Concludes PR Newswire: “The upshot is that press releases bring the imprimatur of their brands to bear in entirely different ways with new social skills. They can help growth-stage companies and their PR firms achieve critical business objectives cost effectively.”

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About the Author
Jeannine Wheeler is a PR Director who has worked in three countries, including Russia, the US and the UK. She is currently Sr. Vice President of Pure Energy PR, a full-service boutique communications firm with a focus on the energy, healthcare, technology, construction, real estate & land development, tourism & hospitality and food & beverage industries. Jeannine is in the firm's Austin, Texas office.
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