As part of an online outreach effort we’ve been conducting for Ford in support of their launch of the new 2008 Focus, we recommended the creation of what’s often described as a social media press release.
The notion of the SMPR has been kicked around a fair bit this year, in lots of different incarnations and in some heated discussions. All that debate aside, with this implementation we were aiming for simply a way of sharing content with people who wanted it in formats they could use, all conveniently located in one place. Period. We didn’t include the ability to comment or trackback because not every interaction has to be a full-on conversation, sometimes sharing and enabling are enough. However, we have tapped into social networks that allow users to rate and virally share the 2008 Focus content – all of our images and video are hosted within product-specific channels on Flickr and YouTube, which also enables Ford to take advantage of their native sharing properties.
Thinking about how people would actually use the SMPR, we also didn’t include links to Digg or Reddit, etc. – only del.ico.us. for easy bookmarking, because are people really going to Digg or Newsvine a press release? I doubt it (why would you? It’s not really content, it’s more like the ingredients required to make content, hardly worth rating, unless you want people to talk about how great you are for thinking of it).
The best part? Ford is such a great client, and they get this stuff so well, that when we pitched this, they immediately understood the value of setting their content free. Ford realized that the more bloggers and others could get their hands on quality images, video and text, the more they would talk about the product. Pretty much the primary purpose of a press release, isn’t it?
So, what are your thoughts? Does this format make sense to you? Do you think it’s better or worse than a traditional release? Pop on over and have a look. I’d love to hear what you think.