#SMTLive today!

How To Write A Social Media Press Release

 How To Write A Social Media Press Release

how to write social media press release How To Write A Social Media Press Release

Back in the day, press releases were the primary means of communication between business enterprises and the media. However, the advancement of the internet has made the traditional format of a press release less effective as journalists, press members and readers crave small chunks of succinct details that incorporate social media, linking and multimedia to make it more digestible and relevant. Compare this to the multi-page press releases that dominated newsroom fax machines in the past and it’s pretty clear that the way information is assembled and received has changed.

If you’re used to traditional press release formats its evolution to social media press release (SMPR) won’t be too much of a challenge. Knowing what to include and how to format your SMPR will be a big help in securing media and blogger coverage for your brand’s news and happenings.

The basic SMPR parts are:

  1. headline
  2. secondary headline
  3. overview
  4. body
  5. facts
  6. about
  7. multimedia links
  8. relevant links
  9. tags

Each part has been labeled and is featured in a sample SMPR outline to make it easy to follow along.

1. For your headline, state exactly what’s the SMPR is about. This isn’t the place to use jargon or slang. A keyword or two and you’re good to go.

2.The secondary headline isn’t always necessary, but if you want to add a bit more insight and push readers to read the next line then include it. Follow the same guidelines you used in the headline.

Once you’ve built your SMPR you’ll want to distribute it to your media and blog contacts. There are multiple distribution methods for your SMPR. You can email, fax broadcast, post and link on your website or use distribution services. Distribution services typically come in two flavors – paid and free.How To Write SMPR Layout.0011 How To Write A Social Media Press ReleaseServices with payment are very costly ranging in prices from $350 to $3500 depending on length, images and circumference, local, regional, national or international. The advantage of a paid service is that media and blog contacts are kept current and you will often receive specific instructions that pertain to how each individual likes to be approached and contacted. Additionally, you receive access to syndicated newswires like the Associated Press, Reuters and others which aren’t typically available through free services. Newswires are the official method of communication used by most to receive news content. If you’re interested in paying for distribution visit PR Newswire or Marketwire to learn more.

Free distribution of your SMPR can take place via a multitude of sites. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, it will be up to you to determine which one is the best outlet for you and your brand. Some of the more popular free distribution sites are PRLog, i-Newswire and Press Release Point. You’ll want to research what’s included in the free distribution service and find out what types of flexibility you have with customizing your distribution list. This will help you get your SMPR into the hands of the right people. For instance, if a site informs you that they distribute to all the major national newspapers you should ask if they have distribution points to journalists that focus on specific content like health, technology or finance.

Also, keep in mind that the SMPR above is a sample only. Feel free to tailor your SMPR to fit your brand’s needs. You many need to go bigger or smaller. It’s entirely up to you.

Have you developed a SMPR lately? What have you included? How are you sending it out? Please share with us.

Join The Conversation

  • Sep 27 Posted 5 years ago <a href="http:... (not verified)

    Press releases are a great way to build hype and product awareness I agree! Great article !!!!

  • Nov 18 Posted 6 years ago Shane (not verified)

    Good to see an example. I've been using article submissions for a while but never used PR submissions so this is something I need to start looking at.

  • Jul 26 Posted 7 years ago Stevie Black (not verified)

    I am a little surprised that social PR hasn't caught on as quickly as I thought it would. When I first came across shiftcomm.com and their link to a sample social media press release pdf back in 2008, I was thrilled to push this across the table at most of my clients. In the end, many did not want to spend the budget or the time developing their own versions in HTML - most didn't even want to divert form the "tried-and-true" approach.

    Having read this post I realize it's probably time for me to review the state of SMPR in my blog about design for SEO - thanks for the kick in the pants and all the good dialogue.

    Stevie Black

  • Jul 24 Posted 7 years ago lucio ribeiro (not verified)



    there's no doubt that (most of the times) you get what you pay for. However I've seen many small to medium size companies including start up's willing to run Social Media Releases along with PR and opting for Free options for the single fact that the paid solutions are way to expensive for them.

    MarketWire is a respected service/supplier but the drama of going thru a whole subscription to identify pricing options is painful and counter-productivy for those willing to work in a one-off release.

    What's your opinion?


  • Jul 24 Posted 7 years ago lucio ribeiro (not verified)

    I just liked to alert the fact of not overload with heavy images. Nowadays journos are getting more and more PR over phone and any overloaded heavy pitch won't be well accepted.

    Thanks for sharing your info.



  • Jul 23 Posted 7 years ago Remco Janssen (not verified)

    Hello Sarah. Thanks for your post. I've been using SMR for a half year now to inform bloggers and news editors. My conclusion is that it works great to inform bloggers, but I have witnessed that at least in the Netherlands journalist just don't grasp the whole concept of the SMR. Bloggers love it though as a tool to get extra information, like images and YouTube videos to enhance the quality of the post.

    Furthermore I'm very enthousiastic of the Dutch startup called Pressdoc.com, which provides standard SMR for 10 dollars. This service not only provides all the necessary items in an easy to use template, but it works great in long tail too. The first one I used has over a thousand views, which is a lot for a Dutch press release that was only distributed to 40 bloggers and journalists publicly.

    My advice when you use a SMR is to distribute the release not as a whole, but to share the link in a personalized pitch to the bloggers who write about your topics. Hence you need to be known and respected in the blogosphere, perhaps even as a blogger. Building such trust takes as long a time - hey this might even resemble traditional PR... ;-)

    Here is my take on how-to-use Social Media Releases. Disclosure: I'm the freelance PR-representative for 123people in the Netherlands. I'm not in anyway affiliated with Pressdoc or their investor The Next Web (I just like their service).






  • Jul 23 Posted 7 years ago John Fotis (not verified)

    A social media ...what? It seems that some people ...even within the social media "circle" still think of the old traditional way. Guys come on!! ITS ABOUT CONVERSATION AND ENGAGEMENT. Please forget about "press releases". I can -perhaps - understand the rationale behind the article, but at least its title is totally unsuccessful.

  • Jul 22 Posted 7 years ago Jay Philips (not verified)

    Great post.  Thank you for putting it together and including a checklist that is easy to follow.


  • Jul 22 Posted 7 years ago Therese Pope (not verified)

    I'm a freelance copywriter and online marketing consultant and I write a lot of releases for clients.

    This was good information; however, you forgot a few key things in the release. Who's the contact? (as John pointed out in his comment).

    You mentioned that the release should be one to two pages. I highly recommend keeping it to one page and that's what I recommend to my client. Remember that people (especially media) don't have a lot of time to read your release, and two pages is a bit on the lengthy side. If you're including great quotes that adds length to your release, that's one thing but I highly recommend keeping it brief. No one wants to sift through a rambling release.

     From a publicity standpoint, the buck doesn't stop there at the release. Don't expect insta-publicity because you blasted out a social media release. Don't get me wrong - social media releases make it easier to enhance your branding and image, but it's just one of many online marketing tools.






  • Jul 22 Posted 7 years ago Sandra (not verified)


    This article was picked up and sent to me by our V.P. of Media. We have written many online nursing degree resource articles and press releases for our university brand and are starting to pursue more social media marketing avenues. The next time we write a press release about our online bachelor's in nursing degree program and master of science in nursing degree program, I will be sure to follow your 9 essential steps on how to effectively write a social media PR.

    Regards, Sandra

  • Jul 22 Posted 7 years ago Herve (not verified)

    I wonder if any start-ups have been using paid for services like PR Newswire. We are about to do a PR release with a new client and we might consider them but as cost control is built in our way of thinking, I am not sure the ROI of these paid for players justify the expenses compared to non paid services. 

    Any experience or thoughts out there would be warmly welcome.


  • Jul 22 Posted 7 years ago Flair Media, Inc. (not verified)

    Nice breakdown for newcomers to the SMPR.  Additional thought: content should be tailored for the audience who you believe will most likely share.  Your SMPR's shareability is only as strong as your readers' willingness to share.  Not all demographics share equally across all channels.  We have a client whose primary audience is more likely to share via email vs. bookmarking or posting on a social network. So establishing benchmarks for success becomes important in crafting the actual content.   Also, wondering why no mention of PitchEngine.

  • shinng's picture
    Jul 22 Posted 7 years ago shinng

    Disclosure: I am the SEM and Social Media Specialist @Marketwire.

    Great article and tips Sarah (and appreciate the Marketwire mention!).  I liked how you started off describing the social media release as an "evolution" of the traditional press release.  Many SMR sites out there claim that the social media release is replacing the traditional release, but that's completely false.  The SMR is a complimentary tool.    I also agree with previous commenter John, contact information is crucial.

    An example of why a service like Marketwire beats a free service is the reach and distribution - http://mashable.com/2010/03/09/cisco-crs-3/.  Cisco's social media release distributed via Marketwire was picked up by Mashable.

    We've also created a helpful tip sheet for those sending a social media release - http://www.marketwire.com/mkt/PDF/Marketwire_Social_Media_2.0.pdf [PDF download].

    Any questions, don't hesitate to ask: nshin[at]marketwire[dot]com


  • Jul 22 Posted 7 years ago Gordon G. Green (not verified)

    This is a fantastic write up! I happen to be writing 2 Press releases for a client this week and wnated to know the best way to write for social media. So far, most people act confused and there is little information about the specific topic. SO thank you very much! For all your SEO needs, check out Weboptium.com


    Gordon G. Green

  • FrankStrong's picture
    Jul 22 Posted 7 years ago FrankStrong

    Great post Sarah with practical advice.  I would also like to point out that PRWeb (Vocus) offers multimedia releases (pricing here). We did a little blog post on how some of our customers are blending social media with multimedia releases that might be of interest -- and our product manager did this great post, based on primary research, on how multimedia releases can increase metrics like time on page, by upwards of 30 seconds.

    Frank - @vocus or @prweb


  • Jul 17 Posted 7 years ago jwbrett

    I think this post is a wonderful post and will be of great help to many.

    My only criticism of your format is that you did not include:

    • Who sent it
    • How to contact the originator or the relevant contact
    Including multimedia links are great...but in this mobile society, where we are buzzing about checking our mail on our handheld devises, there is nothing better than having a phone number I can click on to begin dialing, or an address I can tap on to send Google maps into actions.
    Basic contact information...should still be front and center...and in a social media world, top and to the left!
    Thanks again for the great post.


  • Jul 16 Posted 7 years ago Larry Akey (not verified)

    Good overview of the new PR "go to" tool.  Anybody have reliable stats on which SMR distribution sites get the most eyeballs and pick up?

  • Jul 16 Posted 7 years ago Amy Johnston (not verified)

    Hi Sarah,

    Nice post and a really good check list for people who are new to social media news releases.

    We recently created one for our client, Sony Ericsson and its new handset produced in association with Dolce & Gabanna. We actually hosted this on a page of our blog so we could design the SMNR to fit the brand exactly. The link was then outreached to key bloggers individually as well as using a newswire service. It's here if you're interested! http://www.wolfstarconsultancy.com/sonyericsson/jalou/

    I love social media news releases because from a PR's point of view, they allow you to tell a story through so many more engaging mediums than just copy and images. 


  • Jul 15 Posted 7 years ago Eric Weidner (not verified)


    Thank you very much for this post. I've been researching this issue recently, and I'm going to use this (and recommend to colleagues & clients) as a cheat-sheet.

    Best wishes, Eric

  • Jul 15 Posted 7 years ago Ellen Lebowitz (not verified)

    Hello Sarah,


    The photo of the typewriter is great...a classic....my grandfather owned that very machine. So thanks for using it to illustrate your point.


    Ellen Lebowitz

Webinars On Demand

  • May 09, 2017
    With all of the technologies available to marketers today, have we lost that personal touch? Join VP of Content Marketing for ON24, Mark Bornste...
  • April 05, 2017
    In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, operational efficiency, quick turn-around times, testing and adapting to change are crucial to...