How to Use Twitter and Facebook for Press Release

In the past, I’ve written interesting pieces about how Twitter is revolutionizing the PR world and how a business can get the best of both worlds from social media & PR. Press Releases play a vital role in the public relations regime in any business. If you sign up a new customer or enter a new partnership alliance, why not tell the world about it? After all, it brings good publicity to your business.

In fact, I’m pretty much a PR fanboy who looks forward to reading press releases in order to know about product launches and exciting announcements from businesses. Print media has been the most popular traditional media to publish press releases and it continues to hold fort in today’s age of social media.

Using Twitter to distribute press releases

Using Twitter for distribution of press releases is no longer a fluke. NASA, 10 Downing Street and BBC News are some of the big names who are using it to good effect and the list keeps growing every day. Further, Twitter press releases are not just limited to new product launches and announcements, they also cater to several other needs such as fundraising, covering live events and campaigning.

Gartner provides an interesting case study of “Four ways in which enterprises are using Twitter”. The research giant predicts that by 2011, enterprise microblogging will be a standard feature of 80 percent of social software platforms on the market. Therefore, there is no doubt that Twitter is going to play a crucial role in the PR industry in the years to come.

Facebook and Press Releases

Facebook Fan Pages and Groups are natural allies for traditional press releases. It not only helps a business reach out to a wider audience but it also provides customers to exchange their opinions with each other.

Further, unlike print press releases which have a publishing-lag, Facebook distributes press releases in real time.

Social Media and Traditional Press Releases – Made for each other

I’ve always maintained that social media is meant to compliment traditional PR rather than replace it. A business should use its social media presence to extend the reach of its traditional media press release. Though some social media enthusiasts believe that traditional PR is now old-fashioned and dead, I beg to differ.

Despite being a Twitter and Facebook loyalist, I strongly believe that they will never replace a print press release. A large chunk of the global population is still yet to join the social media bandwagon so it would be foolish to ignore them in favor of social media-only press releases.

On the contrary, I’ve come across several old-school PR professionals who strongly oppose the notion of using social media for press releases. They believe “It’s all noise and no substance” and is a move that can back-fire. It’s an interesting debate which isn’t going to end any time soon.

I strongly believe that Twitter and Facebook are natural supplements to traditional press releases in today’s age of social media. Do you believe Twitter and Facebook are effective tools to distribute press releases? Or do they represent a culture clash with old-school PR world? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.


Join the Conversation

54 comments

  1. Annie Boucher Reply

    With social media shifting how people receive their information about businesses, products, etc. it is no longer reasonable to believe that the media is the conduit to your customers. People are joining your FB page or following you on Twitter because they want to receive the information directly. Assuming the information you’re sharing in your news release is of interest to your customer base, you should share it via social media and you should be grateful that you have a direct, filter-free way to share your good news stories. Keeping in mind that Joe Public will be reading the release is another way to ensure the release is jargon-free and with an emphasis on “what does this mean for me?” Journalists will be grateful for that.

    1. Douglas Idugboe Reply

      Great point Annie. The whole idea of press releases were because traditional media controlled the medium to the masses. While that access is still in the hands of legacy media, social media has given that same power to the masses. An opportunity is not an opportunity if it’s not being used. Hence, the need to leverage this great opportunity currently present via social media.

  2. Dustin Cucciarre Reply

    I agree social media is definitely not a substitue to regular PR, but an excellent addition to it. Very great article!

  3. Dustin Cucciarre Reply

    I agree social media is definitely not a substitue to regular PR, but an excellent addition to it. Very great article!

    1. Douglas Idugboe Reply

      Thanks and welcome to the Smedio community Dustin.

  4. John Vukelic a.k.a. urbeecar Reply

    The Medium Is The Message. (quote of some smart guy) but what happens when there are not one or two mediums but tens or hundreds (every social network: twitter, facebook, myspace, squidoo etc is it’s own special media/um) how do you structure a message that meets them all? Obviously, you don’t. Then you have to become selective with your message, how it’s presented and where it is presented. A very frightening and risky tactic/strategy for a company to get selective in how thy choose to deliver their message to.

    1. Douglas Idugboe Reply

      Thanks for the great comment John. To run an effective marketing campaign, be it via legacy media or social media, you must first identify your market and then take your message to them where they gather.

  5. MediaBzz Reply

    I think that Social Media can be used as an extension to current PR tactics. When posting press releases on Facebook, I would highly recommend reformatting to follow the tone of the platform. If you’re posting the press release on a fan or business page for other industry professionals then that’s one thing but if you are posting it for the “public” then take out the unnecessary portions and make it easy to read. Also, if you have media (photos, video, maps, etc) include them. These features will improve the number of reads that your release gets.

    1. Douglas Idugboe Reply

      Thanks MediaBzz for the useful recommendations, and welcome to the Smedio community.

  6. KatetheRunner Reply

    Twitter and Facebook are definitely very complementary to traditional PR. When working as the PR Communications Manager for a convention, I contacted many of the journalists I worked with via Twitter and developed relationships with them. I don’t know why I didn’t think to send the press releases out via Twitter, too!

  7. Zuckerbäcker Reply

    On very effective way to find out, what channel you should use is to ask 13-16 year old kids. They can tell you! They use the net more intuitively than one of us ever could.

    1. Douglas Idugboe Reply

      It used to be that way but the times are changing 😉 Welcome to the Smedio community Zucherbacker.

  8. Jaco Reply

    Hey Douglas, “social media is meant to compliment” should read “complement”.

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  12. @DivaKatrina Reply

    I also suggest housing the press releases on your website & then linking back to it from your social media accounts. This will 1. drive traffic to your site and 2. help build up your back links for SEO purposes.

    @DivaKatrina

  13. The Stone Sculptor Reply

    I think that it all depends on your target demographic… if you are trying to sell something that is mainly of interest to people over 50, then the traditional press release is probably more important. However, SM will only become more and more important and relevant to more people as time goes by.

  14. Brian Larson Reply

    Good comments. Social media is here to stay and is prevalent in vertually every demo to some degree…and it’s only growing. It may not be a replacement for traditional marketing and press releases (at least not yet), but it ovbviously is an important piece of the puzzle if you want to maximize your message and your reach. What your message is and who it is designed for will determine your specific marketing and media mix.

  15. chefchuck1 Reply

    Yes, I believe Twitter will be the avenue you are talking about, as time goes on…
     Thank you 🙂

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