social media press release

social media press releaseI want to share with you something I just came across: the social media press release.
I’ve been thinking about press releases since publishing commentator and friend of the show, Danuta Kean, wrote about the publicity campaign for a nice little book called Birds in Your Garden. Which I also give a quick shout-out to on my personal blog.
Press releases, as we know them, are over 100 years old. We churn them out because we always have, they’re tried, tested, and established. But they don’t always work. Journalists are busy people. Publicists must prioritize. We’re all busier these days than we were 100 years ago, by multi-exponential factors. And we’re publishing more books than ever before. It amazes me that more don’t sink without trace.
When it comes to corporate news, as an alternative to press releases, I know some people advocate setting up an RSS feed to which interested journalists can subscribe, with links to more substantive material where appropriate. I’ve been experimenting with using Twitter for this – for my rather limited ‘company news’ – and then importing the feed back into my homepage. One thing you should never do is use a blog to distribute press releases – that’s a misuse of the medium.
But I’d not previously come across the idea of a social media press release – something that would be ideal for new products rather than company news.
If you want your book to be found, to fight its way through all the others, reach those niche interest groups, and get it talked about: make it easy to find.
Make it easy to ‘Digg‘ it, to link to it on del.icio.us, to find any author blogs, videos or podcasts, the website, the Facebook Group, the MySpace page etc. all in one concise document. I didn’t create this PDF template, but it is copyright-free if you want to use or adapt it.
Better yet, how about a single web page with live links to all these things? Videos that you can play on the page? Audio that plays on the page through a Flash player? Links to all the relevant websites, blogs, social networking pages? If anyone is already doing this – or does so after reading this – I’d be really interested to know how it works out.
Oh, and you do, of course, need some social media to list on your social media press release in the first place. But it’s not that hard. At the very least, if your author has a blog, you should be promoting it. Getting stuff talked about in the blogosphere works. And a social media press release would be an ideal way of encouraging other bloggers to do some of the hard work for you.

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Jon Reed

Jon Reed is a content writer, author, screenwriter, lecturer, blogger - and the founder of Publishing Talk. He was previously a publisher for 10 years. Publishing Talk aims to help new and emerging authors write, publish and sell books. Advice is available via the blog and our masterclasses and membership programme. More...

2 thoughts on “social media press release

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  • 2nd October 2007 at 9:38 am
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    Hi Jon, thanks for the shout out. This is very useful information. My main problem with press releases is that they always look so laboured and for such small returns. One thing I would warn authors about though is phoning journalists. Email is always better. Be succinct, direct and clear. Address is personally to the journalist concerned and do your homework about what they write about beforehand. I do very little reviewing, I write about business and author interviews, but I still get emails from people asking to send their book or – worse – email their manuscript. It is a waste of time. For a start, I have better things to do with my printer paper. As Atticus almost said in To Kill A Mocking Bird, to understand a journalist, you need to get inside her skin and walk around it for a while. dx

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