All the press release examples you'll find here are published online. The reason for that is simple: they outperform plain text press releases. By a lot. Read on for some examples, and to learn what makes them great.
And why should you ditch traditional media releases? Let’s start with the basics. At its most basic level, a press release is a story that you tell about your brand, such as:
Now, what makes a social media press release different from a traditional press release? It’s simple: Besides text, social media press releases contain video, images, and anything else that will help journalists discover, share, and write about your story.
They outperform plain text releases. By a lot.
Social media press releases live online rather than inside a pitch email. This means that journalists and consumers can:
The resulting bump in views is far from trivial. In fact, two-thirds of traffic to social media press releases comes from social and search. Adding multimedia can boost your traffic even more.
PR Newswire found that press releases with multimedia get up to 9.7 times as many views as text alone.
Content editors and journalists know this. They’re already under pressure to include more visuals in their articles.
I begged, begged, PR professionals to send video and multiple photos with their news releases. Clay Morgan, former editor, The Daily News Journal
Give them what they want. It’s a triple win:
You may be thinking that social media press releases sound great, but how much work does it take to create them?
Luckily, it’s not as hard as it sounds:
The headline is the first thing a journalist sees. Make it good, or they may not read any further. Also make sure it’s tweetable, so keep it to 140 characters or less. For more great advice, check out this short guide to writing catchy headlines.
Address your most important point in the first paragraph of your press release. Keep the rest of the release to two pages or less. One page is better.
Facts and statistics will make your story stronger. Use them. But first, double-check your sources to make sure they’re credible.
A good quote will make your story more interesting and human. Quotes can come from people inside or outside your company (or both), as long as they’re relevant. Here’s how you can turbo-charge your PR announcement quotes.
Make it easy for readers and journalists to share your press release. Call out share buttons, retweetable phrases, and anything else you want them to share.
Social is now embedded in it fully and wholly. Most important: every piece of the new social media press release must be independently shareable. Christopher S Penn, Shift Communication
Many journalists read pitches on the go, so make sure your press release looks as good on a mobile screen as it does on a monitor. We’ve made it easy for you with this downloadable mobile template. It makes your press release look great on smartphones, tablets, and desktop monitors.
This one sounds obvious, but it’s also easy to overlook. Make it easy for journalists to contact you for more details. Include a name, email address, and phone number on every press release.
High resolutions images will make your press releases look beautiful and professional. Journalists will no longer need to ask you for printer-friendly images. No social media press release should be without images. They’re easy to use, cheap to get, and proven to increase views.Images are extra powerful when you share your press release on social media. Social networks automatically generate an image preview, which increases your odds of engagement:
Keep this in mind:
Want to learn more about using images in press releases? Check out this collection of tips on optimising your visuals to get more engagement.
Here at Prezly we like to think we’ve created THE perfect social media press release. We hope you like the examples at the top of the page. Our clients do. But how did we do it? How did we go about coming up with something that is at once beautiful to look at, easy to produce (for even the most technologically ungifted PR person), and useful for whoever you are trying to reach. Be she a journalist, influencer, blogger, member of your worldwide workforce, politician, or key stakeholder.
First we looked what was out there already. It’s widely recognised that Todd Defren at SHIFT Communications came up with the first prototype social media news release in 2006. And a good one it was too. And influencer Brian Solis did a lot of good work in this area as well, in 2008 writing what was then considered to be THE classic text on social media press releases.
At Prezly we saw these articles, pored over them, and over the years the realisation dawned that we could do better. In the meantime, in 2013, SHIFT finally got round to updating their social media press release template with a 2.0 version. Bravo, we thought. Their main advice is quite straightforward:
The Shift template is a ready-to-use html page that you could take as a starting point to create social media press releases yourself. Unfortunately, while the reasoning behind it is good, the template felt like “work it progress”. For example, it was impossible to download and use the template. In addition, it failed to take into account the mobile revolution. Here at Prezly we still felt there was a better way.
The result was our Mobile Social Media Press Release template, a design that is still going strong, with a few refinements, for Prezly clients the world over today.
We started from the basic insights by Shift and optimized the classic press release template for mobile devices via the ‘mobile first’ principle. Many leading web designers argument that one should begin by building sites that work well on small-screen portable devices and then build up from there. This idea has radically changed the way professionals approach web design. Luke Wroblewski, the designer that started the concept and wrote the book about Mobile first tells us to keep things simple.
The screen size is very small. The network activity can go out at any time. Users tend to be in places where they don’t have a lot of ability to focus. As a result, we really have to simplify, prioritise, pick out the things that really matter – and that’s good for web design and good for business in general.
– Luke Wroblewski, quoted in Netmagazine
That’s also very true for journalists and other influencers that get bombarded with messages fighting for their attention. Everyones time is precious so a PR pitch should be short and to the point. Especially a mobile one.
Here’s how we redesigned the traditional press release.
Open the template and resize your browser window. You’ll see the layout adapt at different browser sizes. This isn’t a separate mobile template. It’s the same page that adapts itself based on the dimensions of the internet browser. This technique called responsive design has become the standard for webdesign partially because it’s easier to maintain. We can make updates to one press release and it will adapt on mobile phones, tablets and computers.
Because mobile users’ time is precious we should get straight to the point and show what we have to offer. The mobile template is easy to scan because the body text and boilerplate are initially hidden. A reader can scan the story with all related media assets and contact info. There is a ‘Read more’ button to reveal the complete body text that can include quotes, multimedia, links or attachments.
It’s called a social media press release because it’s intended to get shared online. Sharing service AddThis has excellent sharing plugins that adapt to mobile devices. On smaller screens the call to action is always visible at the top or bottom of your screen. On larger resolutions they can be very prominent in fixed positions too, just like the sharing buttons here on the left of this page.
On mobile phones the telephone numbers and email adreses of contacts are highlighted to make it easier for journalists to reach out. They can just press the prominent telephone links and immediately call from their mobile phone.
The template uses social commenting service Disqus to make the press release interactive.
The template is built on the most popular website framework Bootstrap. It’s easy to customise the default layout via a settings file that’s included.
The mobile template are stand alone HTML/CSS files that you can update yourself to create press releases. You can save a lot of time and effort by using a marketing automation system to publish press releases online. My own service, Prezly, is a marketing automation system built specifically for PR teams. Prezly uses a mobile social media press release template to help PR pro’s distribute their stories.Discover PR tool Prezly now
That’s all folks. You now know all their is to know about social media press releases, and have an industry-leading free template from us to be going on with. And just remember, when you’ve built your lovely new multimedia press release, you need a distribution system to do it justice…