8 Steps for doing Social Media Press Releases – A Marketing Sherpa Case Study

I did an interview with Marketing Sherpa on my experience using Social Media Press Releases.  They published a case study and in it they talk about 8 steps for putting together a social media release (paraphrased by me): Find out what writers want to write about – the more timely and relevant your release is, the more likely it will get picked up by reporters/bloggers/writers. Do a test run with a minor news announcement – like any marketing tactic, you generally want to do a test run where you can learn a few things without any major downside. Have a great subject matter expert for the release – It helps to have a person who is great in an interview or on video that can be the spokesperson for the release. Provide some new deeper content for folks that want to learn more (a primer, guide, checklist, etc) – It’s easier to write a story about something if there is more to find out about it. Incorporate video – Video is really powerful and can tell a story much better than print.  It also helps writers do a more interesting online story if they can incorporate your video. Provide lots of links – Again, the more context the better. Use a social media newswire – In our case I think it improved the “find-ability” of our release. Read the full article here, along with links to the original press releases and some of the coverage that was generated by the...

Your Company Can Ignore Social Media but You Can’t

I am not a Social Media Marketer.  I am a Product Marketer.  I’ve worked on products where we’ve done a lot of social media related things and others where we have done almost nothing.  In my mind, that is perfectly OK.  As a marketer however, I think it is essential that I’m participating in social media, even for no other reason than just to understand what the heck is going on. There are lots of growing, successful businesses that ignore social media for the most part.  I can name a dozen startups that don’t blog, don’t Twitter, don’t have a facebook page, etc. and are doing just fine.  In almost every example, these folks are selling fairly big-ticket software to large businesses where the key decision makers aren’t big social media consumers.  Yes, these decision makers are likely influenced by folks that DO consume a lot of social media but for these startups, influencing this second tier is a much lower priority than building better product demos, running a better advisory council or doing a better job of managing their relationships with industry analysts.  Could they see benefits from participating more in social media?  Absolutely!  But marketing is a game of making the most with scarce resources and sometimes it isn’t at the top of the list. My point here (you were wondering if there was ever going to be one, I know) is that there is a difference between making a decision as a company or related to a particular product, to prioritize social media participation lower on the list and not putting social media on the list...

A Skeptic’s Guide to Social Media Press Releases

Up until the past year, I’ve been pretty old school about press releases.  I spent years at IBM where the “newsworthyness” of releases was hyper-scrutinized and even the availability of a new product wasn’t always deemed newsworthy enough to warrant a release.  After a while I became that person who reviewed the release and wrote “What are we announcing?  Who cares?” all over it. Wow, have things changed.  In the past year I’ve worked on a couple of spectacularly successful social media press releases.  And I don’t throw “spectacular” around lightly either. Release 1 The first one was was an accident.  We were working on a traditional release related to a change in our corporate green policy.  The announcement was good for employees and the planet and would showcase how customers could use our products to do the same at their company.  At the last minute the roll-out of the new initiative got delayed.  The Super-Smart PR Guy (SSPRG) I work with suggested we do a social media release around our existing initiatives, which were pretty cool already but we’d never really talked about them externally.  “We can’t do that!!!  There’s no news!!!” I wailed.  Having had my knuckles rapped so many times for lack of newsworthyness had clearly traumatized me but in the end SSPRG talked me into it.  We shot some video, included some links to the info on our web site about the program and created an online “how-to” paper that described how to start a similar program at another company.  We did not use our regular wire service and instead put it out over a...

10 Reasons You Don’t Need a Product Brochure

Over the weekend I wrote a very intelligent and thought-provoking piece on communications and the whole Steve Jobs had a heart attack thing but then today at work we got talking about building a brochure for one of the products I am working on which lead to a couple of hallway conversations about brochures.  This got me thinking that brochures are almost as goofy and out-dated as trade shows and I should write a post about that instead while I am thinking about it. Therefore, instead of intelligent and thought-provoking, I give you: 10 Reasons You Don’t Need a Product Brochure 1.  Your customers use the Internet. Newsflash! There’s this newfangled thing you paid your marketing folks to set up called a web site that does a super job of talking about your products.  You don’t have a web site?  You my friend, need more than a brochure. 2.  Your site works better than your brochure.  Your brochure doesn’t have sound and video and an ROI calculator.  Your brochure contains exciting words like “paradigm”. 3.  Things change.  Your product, your address, your phone number, your email address for general inquiries, your best graphics and screen shots, your customer quotes, your partnerships.  You get the idea. Pay to get your brochure printed and I guarantee you it will be out of date the moment the box shows up.  Faster if you paid someone to do the layout and graphics. 4.  Where are those brochures going to get used anyway? Let’s do some math.  Let’s say you paid $4K to get the creative done and brochures printed.  You do 2 big...
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