Posts Tagged ‘social media news release’
March 25th, 2010
The Liberate team and our web design partner Best Served Cold have been working hard behind the scenes on the latest version of Pressitt, our social media news release platform, which is free to use.
We hope you will forgive the shameless plug, further details below:
Social Media News Release (SMNR) service Pressitt today announces that it is coming out of public beta and re-launching with a fully upgraded platform and host of new features and functionality. In addition, all Pressitt releases will be featured in Google News ensuring higher visibility for all SMNRs created and published via the service.
Pressitt is the only free Social Media News Release (SMNR) service currently available in the UK. Its feature-rich platform revolutionises the traditional, text-heavy press release format, providing journalists, bloggers and consumers with a new and simpler way of gathering information.
The upgraded Pressitt 1.0 service has been redesigned to offer greater performance and usability, based on user feedback. New features include improved search functionality across the site, and the ability to tag releases to assist with visibility.
Improvements have also been made to social publishing functionality to encourage users to share their Pressitt SMNRs.
A new authentication system with enhanced security features will also underpin Pressitt 1.0 to ensure it is only distributing quality content. Live form validation has been introduced to make the registration, login and creation process slicker and more intelligent to use. In addition, human moderation controls have also been increased to offer a double layer of protection against unsolicited news.
Since its public beta launch in April 2009, Pressitt has successfully encouraged a large number of respected PR agencies and businesses to adopt the SMNR format for the first time, and hence share their news announcements with a social media audience.
The Pressitt SMNR template offers all of the core information found in a traditional press release, but additionally takes advantage of linking, multimedia and Web 2.0 shareable features. It allows users to host downloadable hi-res images within their releases, along with PowerPoint presentations, and PDFs – YouTube videos can also be embedded. Each brand using the service is assigned its own RSS feed, and press contacts can be reached via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
So why not give it a go. We look forward to viewing your Pressitt SMNR.
November 6th, 2009
Yesterday I attended the CIPR Social media for PR practise workshop – focusing on the CIPR’s Education and skills group. Liberate Media was represented by my colleague Tim Greenhalgh, who was on the sharing best practise panel discussion with Simon Collister of We are Social and Nic Mitchell from Teesside University and led by Tracy Playle, Vice-Chair, CIPR Education and Skills sector group and Pickle Jar communications.
My colleague Andy Merchant and I led the afternoon session focused on building social media news releases with our Pressitt hats on. For those that don’t know, Pressitt is a free social media news release platform that Liberate Media developed with our partners Best Served Cold and launched earlier this year.
The morning session was focused on discussing the findings of the CIPR’s research into the use of online media in UK higher and Further Education institutions as a means of enhancing press and media relations, called PR 2.0 – managing news in a digital world, which launched on the day. (I’m chasing down a link and will update ASAP). The work group session was used to explore how PRs should use social and online media to communicate with journalists, looking specifically at the most useful online tools, how to manage time to engage with social media and how do you get senior management buy-in for supporting your use of social media, etc.
Of course they also discussed the findings of the research, which includes a host of interesting stats and feedback, my favourite of which was this little gem from an unnamed former FT journalist who confirmed the following about the traditional press release, which takes us back to where the social media news release movement all started.
“Press releases are nearly useless. They typically start with a tremendous amount of top-spin; they contain pat-on-the-back phrases and meaningless quotes. Often they will contain quotes from C-level executives praising their customer focus.
“Press releases are created by committees, edited by lawyers, and then sent out at great expense through Businesswire or PRnewswire to reach the digital and physical trash bins of tens of thousands of journalists … this madness has to end!”
His proposal: “Deconstruct the press release into special sections and tag the information so that as a publisher I can pre-assemble some of the news story and make the information useful.”
In the afternoon it was over to Pressitt and the Social Media News Release. The session seemed to go well, and we had a mixed group in terms of social media understanding.Â When asked for a show of hands of people that had published an SMNR I received nadda, no hands, no expression…gulp, I thought, this could be difficult. However, preaching to the converted is easy, but helping PR professionals to understand the benefits of a social media news releases was much more rewarding.
We faced some tough questioning which we welcomed as this wasn’t an audience of converts, this was an audience of concerned professionals that wanted to embrace new tools, but needed to â€˜get-it’ first of all. I think Andy would agree that this made us re-think our approach and we also got some good ideas for Pressitt 2.0, which we hope to launch in the new year.
After the event we had a great deal of positive feedback and promises from a number of people to give Pressitt a go, which at least one has already done, and after all that’s all we can ever ask.
So what did I learn from the event?
1. We still live in a social media bubble – it’s easy to talk about the development of social media in groups of likeminded social entrepreneurs, but is that helping the development of social communications?
2. It may seem obvious, but it’s true, if you want to develop a product, take it to people that have never seen it before and let them pull it apart! We probably learnt more from a group of SMNR novices than we would from hours of feedback from the so called experts
3. Every sector of PR is different we might argue that social media is the way forward, and I still stand by that, but its acceptance, relevance and use in the various industry sectors is vastly different.
Thanks to Tracy Playle, Vice-Chair, CIPR Education and Skills sector group and Pickle Jar communications who not only developed and led the session but gives up her time to the CIPR for free – top job!
And if you’re reading this and haven’t given Pressitt a go yet, please do – join up, develop your release and hit publish – it won’t cost you a thing. Then let us know what you think and we both might learn something out of it.
August 3rd, 2009
Pressitt Social Media Newsroom competition
In order to celebrate the launch of our new Social Media Newsroom offering, Pressitt is offering a limited number of free bespoke news release templates and Social Media Newsrooms, which of course can be used in conjunction with the Pressitt platform and easily linked to from your own site.
What are were giving away?
Three packages are up for grabs that include a Social Media Newsroom and bespoke Social Media News Release template that our designers will mock up in the style of your present website.
Your Social Media Newsroom and release template will be given a unique url: yourbrand.pressitt.com
View an example newsroom here: Bright One
The competition will run for one month after the publishing date of this post.
The competition is open to agencies, corporations, challenger brands, and anyone who has a passion and interest for the Social Media News Release and is going to use it!
To enter, all you have to do is sign-up to Pressitt with a valid email address. No Google, MSN or Yahoo sign upâ€™s will be entered into the draw (make sure you only enter once).
All previous active members who have signed up with a valid email address will automatically get entered into the prize draw.
To qualify for entry, you need to have released one newsworthy SMNR on the Pressitt platform.
The draw will be made by an impartial adjudicator.
The winners will be contacted via email and sent a briefing sheet for completion of the Newsroom and bespoke release template.
A bit about the Social Media Newsroom.
The Social Media Newsroom is a unique company landing page offering access to all of your multimedia news releases. It is a first touch for brands wanting to engage and participate with online communities, including journalists, bloggers, and even consumers researching your product or service.
July 31st, 2009
The age old argument that begins â€˜the trouble with press releases’ has come to the fore again this week. The main cause has been a journalism.co.uk article that offered a crowdsourced guide to writing the perfect press release for journalists. This also sparked off a number of conversations on Twitter.
The journalism.co.uk article made complete sense, and I agree with the advice offered in it, or at least 95% of it, but the most depressing thing is that we as an industry (the PR industry) are still making the same old mistakes. To be honest most of the advice could have come from a training session I was given on press release writing in my first month at a PR agency many moons ago. I’m not trying to belittle the advice that was given, it’s just depressing that the same old issues keep coming up.
Looking beyond the usual press release clashes between journalists and PRs, I think there are wider issues that need to be considered. Firstly, in my experience it’s usually the client that demands less than newsworthy releases, and yes PRs should be firmer in their consultancy, but as anyone who has been on agency side will know, that’s not always possible. Secondly, and again in my experience, when talking to a journalist about a story I have, on a number of occasions, been asked â€˜is there a release on this?’ which is slightly frustrating when we’re trying to take a more personalised approach. That’s not to say all journalists do this, but again we all know there are some.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is nothing more I would like than to kill off the traditional release, and I think many PRs that I have spoken to would agree. They can be dull marketing documents that serve very little purpose and the good ones are vastly outweighed by the bad ones.
So what do we do? We need to convey the information in a relevant, accessible and useful way, but without the fluff and spin. Well this is a question we at Liberate Media have been tussling with since day one, and as many of you will know we’ve launched an alternative in the form of a social media news release platform called â€˜Pressitt‘. This was originally developed as we couldn’t find a distribution service that suited our requirements, but as it evolved we felt it should be shared and we plan to work with the industry to build a service that is flexible and relevant in a social media environment, as well as a more traditional news environment.
Please don’t think this post is meant as a promotion for Pressitt, it’s not supposed to be. We don’t charge for Pressitt releases, as we believe social tools should be free. But my point is, yes, PRs, journalists and clients are cheesed off with press releases, some are trying to change that by good practise in communicating stories and obeying advice as set out in the journalism.co.uk article. Others are doing something about it by developing new methods of news distribution. However, it seems too many are still doing nothing. Wake up time is long overdue.
July 7th, 2009
(Full disclosure Liberate Media Is co owner of Pressitt, Social Media News Release and creation site).
This post is not an attempt to profile Pressitt or to gain more sign-ups, but simply to draw your attention to the great work that the Government is doing in using digital platforms and emerging technologies.
My attention was first drawn to the Government’s use of new technologies when it relaunched the 10.gov.uk site a while back. The site is heavily laden with social features that it refers to as “around the web” including links to the relevant Facebook page, YouTube page, Flickr page and latest Tweets.
Pressitt Social Media News Release and creation service has been utilised by the Government and especially the DIUS (Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills) which has recently merged with the BERR (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) to become the BIS (department for business innovation and skills).
Here are just some of the fantastic examples of the Government’s use of Pressitt so far.
You can read more about the Government’s involvement with SMNR over at helpful technology, a blog written byÂ Steph Gray, digital engagement at the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
It’s great to the see the Government use digital platforms and it also seems they are being well informed on trends with in new media. Other Governments have been quick to act on new technologies as the success of President Obama’s digital campaign proves and the New Zealand Government’s use of a wiki to get advice from the public.
other resources:Ross rounds up UK Government & Social Media initiatives
April 20th, 2009
Social Media News Release (SMNR) service Pressitt today launches in public beta, following a successful month of private beta testing.
Developed by digital PR and social media consultancy Liberate Media and web development firm Best Served Cold,Â Pressitt has already been trialed by an impressive list of high-profile and challenger brands and organisations. These include Johnsonâ€™s online parenting community BabyCentre, the Governmentâ€™s Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, online music provider Napster, digital creative agency Collective, digital entertainment and internet solutions firm iBAHN, digital engagement agency Kerb and LED lamp producer Greengage Lighting.
In just over a month, the service has already secured a Google PageRank of four, and attracted a significant level of private beta interest.
Pressitt enables PRs and businesses to create their own SMNRs (also known as a Social Media News Release) and publish to an online community of journalists, the blogosphere and the general public. A Pressitt release contains all of the core information found in a traditional press release, but it is presented in a more digestible format along with images, video clips, links to previous Pressitt announcements and other relevant online information such as homepages, social media profiles and downloadable presentations or PDFs, ensuring all story assets are saved in one central online place.
Based on early user feedback, a range of service updates will also be launching to coincide with the public beta launch. These include brand-specific RSS feeds, enabling individuals to easily keep track of Pressitt releases published by companies of interest, and a tool called PressTwitt which allows Pressitt releases to be shared via Twitter easily. Screencast videos are being developed to provide additional guidance on how best to use Pressitt, and A new homepage design is also going live in direct response to the feedback of private beta testers.
The service is currently free to use, and a premium paid-for version with enhanced functionality will go live later in the year.
Additionally, Pressitt is also unveiling a bespoke version of the service, which enables organisations to have a customised SMNR template designed to reflect the colours, style and branding of their organisation. Those wanting to take it one step further can show-off their bespoke releases in a Social Media News Room, offering a completely branded environment housing all of their corporate SMNRs. A Social Media News Room can be a part of a companyâ€™s existing website or hosted via Pressitt.
Wendy McAuliffe, director of Liberate Media and Pressitt, says: â€œThe private beta phase has been incredibly successful, and weâ€™re delighted to be coming out of it after just one month of testing. The Social Media News Release has been a hot topic within the global PR industry for a while, and weâ€™re pleased to see that businesses and brands of all sizes are eager to trial this up-to-date press release format. Early user feedback has been constructive and encouraging, and weâ€™re making service updates as quickly as possible to ensure weâ€™re continually innovating and responding to the needs of our users.â€
Greg Doone, managing director of Collective, adds: â€œWeâ€™re proud to have been one of the first organisations to trial Pressitt, as weâ€™re keen for our company news to be as â€˜socialâ€™ and shareable as possible. We develop a wide range of multimedia assets for high profile brands such as Honda and EA, and Pressitt provides us with the perfect environment to showcase these to our blogger and journalist targets in one central online location.â€
Please see latest news from Social Media News Release service Pressitt below:
March 3rd, 2009
It’s great to see Brian Solis, a SMNR evangelist and fellow PR consultant, team up with Jason Kintzler over at Pitch Engine. I believe this partnership strengthens my belief that the social media news release will finally gain the attention it rightly deserves.
The Social Media Release modernized an aging 100-year-old tool and adapted it for the social web, making the foundation for a new type of press release relevant again. But, perhaps most importantly, the Social Media Release was our chance to not only invigorate the traditional press release, it provided visionaries and evangelists with the ability to embrace new tools, mediums, and narrative voices to tell stories more convincingly to those seeking information, their way.
Brian then goes on to talk about Pitch Engine not being a wire service.
It is a social platform to quickly and easily create, host, and share visually rich and dynamic social media releases.
This is the model we have based our own SMNR service on. Pressitt follows the Pitch engine model and sits comfortably beside it.
So with the Pressitt service now in private beta and Pitch Engine coming to prominence in PR circles, things are looking good for the SMNR. With the open channels of conversation, sharing of ideas and groups such as the Social Media Release Workgroup, we can all work together and collaborate to improve the SMNR offering.
If you have an interest in the SMNR format, please register your interest over at Pressitt, we are currently looking for Beta testers. Also go check out Pitch Engine, it’s a great site.
March 2nd, 2009
At Liberate Media we always try to stand out from the crowd and push the boundaries of communications, and today marks a special day for us, as we introduce Pressitt, a social media news release service based on the social media news release template by Todd Defren.
The Pressitt project has been in development for the last year, and during that time we’ve used our own research to develop the service while trying to accommodate feedback from the social media news release community.
This is the first public stage of the project, but we won’t stop here. We intend to continue developing and adding more functionality and more social media elements, so please tell us what you think and be part of the Pressitt smnr evolution.
Pressitt is currently in private beta and is a collaboration between Liberate Media and Best Served Cold. Please register your interest and we will try our very best to accommodate you.
More about Pressitt:
This is how it breaks down:
Title: Title of your SMNR
Overview: Brief overview of the release
Core facts: Nuggets of information, expanding on the overview with facts and figures
Contact information: Names, email, and tel of the contacts, we have also included links to social profiles
Relevant links: Links with thumbs shots to relevant sites
Videos: Ability to easily add YouTube videos, more sites to follow.
Image: Add up to 8 images
Files: Add up to 4 files to support your release, including ppt, pptx, pdf, doc, dox, and excel
Quotes: Ability to add quotes from company spokespeople that add value to the release
Boilerplate: All essential trading information
Social bookmarking: All the usual bookmarking sites available
Comments: Register to add quotes
I hope that gives you a flavour of Pressitt.
The current version offers us a platform that we will build on, first with new levels of functionality and secondly with a new premium version.
Here are some other Pressitt SMNR examples currently on the site: