Watching the Street fight and a Case Study on a Press Release + Social Media

Over the past week, there’s been a caged match about the Social Media Press Release (SMPR). Folks have been fighting both pro and against it as a viable tool for communication that could bridge both the traditional and ‘new’ social media tools for corporations.

Still on the fence about the Social Media Press Release ’till I get more info
For the most part, I stayed out of it, I see some of the faults, but I also see some of the benefits. I don’t have enough information and haven’t seen it deployed successfully to validate if it’s something I would recommend to clients. I’m still wondering if the SMPR is a tool primarily for the press and media

Street fight in the ‘hood

Sometimes the web industry can be a downright dirty mob fight. The first jab started from Stowe, a haymaker from Scoble. The defending team Chris extended a defensive parry blast, and Brian’s sidekick supported the SMPR. Oberkirch throws a haymaker (update: in support of hRelease), Shel slingshots a chicken with lipstick, followed by Jeremy with a flying drop kick, Chris double blocks back, of course, Hugh McCloud grabs his spray cans and paints the alley with yet more graffiti. Things turned into quite the brawl, and you can see the full effect on TechMeme a conversation tracker.

In my opinion, the debate has yet to be resolved, it’s not clear from an industry perspective if we embrace the SMPR as a whole.

Case study: Seagate integrates Social Media into an Announcement

I’ve started to pay more attention to press releases, and how they integrate with Social Media. A few days ago, Seagate (A PodTech client) announced their financials, and they did something interesting. In addition to the regular ways of telling the world via normal announcements, they had podcasting personality John Furrier (my boss) interview the CEO of Seagate and upload quickly on this podcast.

For some time now Seagate has links to Social Media directly in their press release, linking directly to the Seagate Channel on PodTech.net.

This is an interesting for a few reasons:
1) Seagate has integrated social media into the announcement
2) Seagate has integrated social media into the press release.
3) Seagate has not suffered from message decay (one of the primary reasons for the SMPR)
4) Seagate has done this without a formalized Social Media Press Release format or tool

Can Social Media integrate with a Press Release? Do we need a Social Media Press Release?
As Linda Furrier points out in Jeremy’s comments, there is room for both, it will be some type of hybrid. Maybe we do need a SMPR, it’s possible it’s not for the general consumer or community, but for the press.

Related Observations:

I’m proud that our Industry openly debates issues
During the debate, I sent an email to those that were deeply involved, at how our industry can debate topics in public, figure out what works and rebuild better and stronger. It’s a collective and global debate in the web industry, and it’s what makes us unique.

Applause for Brian Solis and Chris Heuer

I’d especially like to recognize Brian and Chris for really following Business Blogging best practices. They followed the conversation wherever it went (including a Google Group that I am part of) and defended their stance. They left comments, responded via their blogs, very professionally, they really kept their presence active and I applaud them for standing by for what they believe in and defending it. I wish I was a fly on the wall at the office on Monday, as you know Stow and Chris share office space.

My related thoughts:

  • I asked the community what they thought of the Social Media Press Release
  • Edelman release the Social Media Press Release tool ‘Storycrafter’ (I don’t get it)
  • Social Media Tools enables Storytelling at the Edges
    • http://www.brianoberkirch.com Brian Oberkirch

      JKO: thanks for taking the time to round all this up. The link from me above, however, is from early December, when the Edelman CMS was released. After Stowe’s rant, I wrote this about a business case for hRelease, and then I wrote I think that is getting overlooked with all this heated discussion.
      We need to stop confusing the SMPR (or social media release or whatever you’d like to call it) with hRelease. hRelease is an unproposed microformat.
      Microformats have nothing to do with the presentation of data, which is what has been discussed vis a vis most of the templates this far. As I argue, you can’t reinvent the press release form and create a microformat for it at the same time. Microformats work by adding small bits of semantic markup to traditional forms of content. So, all press releases pretty much look alike, right? hRelease (when codified) would give us a set of tags to apply to make those press release bits more useful. To date, there has been no work done with the microformats community to make this happen.
      That’s the innovation I’m after.
      The discussion about templates with delicious links, Digg tags, etc, isn’t that interesting to me. Of course you should make your stuff more findable, indexable, archivalbe, conversational. But you should also do that in the context of a larger understanding and embrace of social media.

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    • http://www.socialmediaclub.com/ Chris Heuer

      Thanks Jeremy. While I did not get a chance to reply to your email, I wanted you to know that I very much appreciated it and agree with your assesmnet.

      This is such a nuanced conversation, with different perspetives applying different meanings to the same set of words. In a sense, everyone who engaged in this discussion is right relative to their own sense of understanding, but in the end, it is about creating shared meaning around these concepts. Together, we have done a great job of furthering this shared understanding and accepting where we still hold some disagreement. The thing is though, that these same conversations will happen over and over and over again, as more people are exposed to the concept and forumlate their opinions. Perhaps, it is ultimately the work of social media – to socialize a broader understanding of different topics and issues.

      In many online communities and newsgroups, this is where the FAQ (frequently asked questions list) comes into play. When the conversation happens on blogs though, where does this information reside? I think it should all be moved to the wiki – at least that is where I would like to to go. Hopefully some of these contributors to the conversation will go to the wiki and gather these thoughts and help us weave it into a narrative and set of links.

      Once again, we are dealing with an idea, that when captured in a few words has significant meaning for one group of people and raises the natural, deeper concerns of another group. The whole point of BrainJams, and now Social Media Club, is to provide a place for people to hold respectable dialgoue with the purpose of discovering our common perspective and working to resolve our disagreements, or at least accept the existence of those disagreements. That was the reason for my followup post on whether or not people want to fight PEOPLE who have a different perspective from them, or help them along to a deeper understanding.

      As for the final assesment (at this time), I think you are right in highlighting Linda Furrier’s comment. The world is not black and white insomuch as it is shades of grey. The social media release as I envision its future use, will be but one piece of ‘official’ communications in the river of RSS conversations about a company. But it will be one that employee bloggers, customers, journalists and others can reference for sharing their own perspective on a given story, about what a company is doing. It is not the only way companies will join the conversation, but the way in which they can make official statements that others can rely on with confidence in its validity and authenticity.

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    • http://www.irwebreport.com/daily/ Dominic Jones

      Jeremiah,

      I spotted this post on the PodTech.net page for Seagate’s Q2 video.

      Before I came here, though, I followed the Seagate link on PodTech.net.

      I went to Seagate’s Investors section. And I didn’t see the interview mentioned anywhere.

      What’s up with that? It’s like Web 2.0 and Web 1.0 aren’t talking to each other, if you know what I mean.

      This is not meant as a criticism of Seagate of Podtech, but it often seems to be that people are so focused on the next big thing that they forget the basics.

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