A Better Approach to the Social Media Release: Reach Three Readers

by Jeff Mascott

Over the past few days, I have been blogging about the social media release.  On Wednesday, I overviewed the SMR’s history and gave my take on why the PR industry hasn’t really warmed up to the concept.

Earlier today, I discussed how to reach the three audiences that are critical for any organization: traditional journalists, bloggers/digital influences, and the general public.  Rather than using multiple forms of content to convey the same message, PR professionals should reach all three audiences at once by using a single voice and a single format.

The Social Media Release: Three Key Readers

In addition to the three critical audiences, content needs to be geared to reaching different types of readers.  As explained by Muhammed Seem at Copyblogger, there are three important types of readers:

Real Humans

- The human reader, of course, comes first.  As I mentioned yesterday, organizations need to be writing content that reads like a story, not an announcement.  Humans—whether it’s a journalist, blogger, or regular Internet user —do not want to read corporate speak.  They do want to read compelling stories that integrate humor and sound like they are being told by a person, not a corporation.

Another thing to remember is that many human readers have become “diagonal” readers who scan content quickly, often reading a story in just 10 seconds.  Content should be written to help readers find the most important points quickly.  Tomorrow, I’ll share some specific tips for how to make body copy more scannable.

Search Engines

- When your human readers use search engines, they tend to click on the top results for their query.  Because search engines are designed to look for very specific things as they rank results, organizations need to write their news content in a way that maximizes the chances of rising to the top of that list.  Tomorrow, I’ll talk about how to write headlines that do just that.  I will also share some tips for making body copy search engine-friendly.

Social Networking Sites

- Content also must be tailored for Facebook and Twitter, which human readers are increasingly relying on for their news.  Like search engines, this is partly about writing in a way that will generate clicks.  Here again, headlines are key.  But it is also about making content compelling enough so that once human readers click on a news item, they will take the extra step of sharing the content with their own networks.  As I will discuss more in the next post, there are both technical considerations and messaging components to making SMRs shareable.

Tomorrow, I will wrap up this series with a nuts and bolts post about the specific components to include in a better social media release.  I would love to hear your ideas for what makes a good social media release.

Re-Thinking the Social Media Release

Part 1 | The Social Media Press Release is Dead

Part 2 | A Better Approach to the Social Media Release: Reach Three Audiences

Part 3 | A Better Approach to the Social Media Release: Reach Three Readers

Part 4 | The Key Components of a Better Social Media Release