From Press To Social Media Release

By: Sebastian Altmark

Since the arrival of the Internet and the subsequent development of social media, we are facing a shift in how we search and process information. This is a special challenge for companies when producing press releases. Our attention span has shortened, the primacy of multimedia has made us more visual and the portable devises have made the digital content one swipe away from being disposable.  So, how media and press realeases have adapted to this new scenario?

Nothing is lost but everything is transformed

Since pre-historic times our methods of communication have evolved by the hand of our own evolution as human beings.


We got more sophisticated, accurate and able to reach a wider audience.


With press and media releases something similar has happened. Since the beginning of the XX century and the revolution of mass communications, press and media releases have been key to promote, inform and bring visibility to brands, products and events.


The digital revolution of the press release

Before the Internet came and changed our lives forever, press releases revolved around telling the facts with a formal voice.  With the arrival of the Internet and growth of social media the press release was influenced by the development of the digital era. But how exactly did it change? Cathy Baron Tamraz, CEO of Business Wire, has a one-word response to this question: multimedia.

But multimedia is not the only thing that has influenced the evolution of press releases. Social media is another game changer.


Social Media Releases or SMR is a concept developed by Todd Defren, CEO of Shift Communications, in response to Tom Foremskin who declared the death of the press release in the era of social media.

As expressed by Cathy Baron Tamraz, Tod Defren’s SMR placed multimedia as a central piece in any media release, but most of all the objective of a SMR is to connect information and people craving for it across social networks.  In order to achieve this, the media release needs to have:

  • A blog post feel and look
  • Multimedia content
  • Content structured as a storytelling
  • The use of social tools to bookmark
  • Relevant tags for indexing and discoverability
  • Subscription via RSS
  • The ability to be compartmentalized by content blocks for new stories.

In summary an SMR should be built with the necessary components that make it shareable, discovered and retold as a story and not as a factual description.

A different medium for the same purpose

Despite all these changes and the technology involved, we are still sending messages for the same reason as our ancestors did in the caves: to communicate, to be seen and to engage others with our mission and objectives. News and press releases have nowadays an amazing opportunity to make their message more powerful and personal for the public. This evolution forced communicators to use their creativity to be relevant in a media that changes rapidly.


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