I'll admit, it wasn't a very scientific study (consisting of a survey group of only myself) but it makes for the same kind of sensationalistic headline that HubSpot went with in a post that says "Study Shows Social Media Releases Are Less Effective Than Traditional Press Releases." In that blog post, author Rebecca Corliss tests the effectiveness of Social Media Releases compared to regular News Releases when both are distributed via major newswires. I've got no problem with her methodology, in that the evaluated the effectiveness of the respective releases by the number of places they were syndicated.
However, I don't know what this proves.
I know that ranking highly on Search Engine Results Pages is important for organizations, and I know that getting a great deal of inbound links from different sources is a good way to achieve this.
But I also think that as soon as this becomes one of the primary goals of PR and news releases, the game is over. We'll be writing for search engine spiders, not people, and we'll be evaluating campaign successes by incoming links, not relationships and engagement.
The whole point of a news release isn't to blast it out to as many places as possible so that people see it.
That's called Advertising, not Public Relations.
The point of a news release has always been to provide a journalist with information that they can use to write a story.
The same is true with Social Media Releases. However, rather than just providing journalists with plain text to tell their story, the Social Media Release makes it easy for them to use all kinds of multimedia elements in their story.
I don't think that news releases aggregators such as the places Rebecca is getter her releases syndicated to are going to get a lot of eyeballs, nor are they eyeballs that do go there going to be particularly enthralled by the release there. Similiarly, I can't imagine that links from these aggregators are particularly valuable.
Admittedly, I don't know which syndication sites she's referring to so I don't know how many views those releases are getting, nor how valuable the link juice that they might pass on is.
However, I still feel that it is more important to focus on getting good, editorial coverage than it is to have your release regurgitated and repeated verbatim a thousand times across the web.
As I've often said, put the "social" into social media. Use the Social Media Release as a way to reach out to bloggers and online journalists in a personal way. Just blasting it out there and hoping it gets picked up is wasting everyone's time.
What do you think about Social Media Releases versus traditional news releases?
*Note: As per usual, posts on BlogCampaigning are based on my own personal thoughts and opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, CNW Group or any of the other authors at BlogCampaigning.