Last October, our firm, Social Media Group (which in 2007 was granted the contract to help the Ford Motor Company develop their global social media strategy) began working on the launch of the newly-redesigned 2008 Ford Focus.
We wanted to involve interested online content producers (not just bloggers) in the press events around the Focus launch, and to also give them the content they needed to tell the best possible story. So we decided to create an SMPR for the Focus. However, rather than hosting images and videos on Ford servers, we saw the benefit of leveraging the native sharing properties of platforms like Flickr and YouTube (i.e. the content becomes findable there as well, rather than just via the SMPR). So that’s what we did, making all of it available under a Creative Commons non-commercial attribution license (which was somewhat revolutionary in itself. Recognizing this, one of Ford’s competitors released much of their content under a similar license very shortly afterwards).
Looking back now, I find our first version of the SMPR to be pretty rudimentary. This is probably because in the intervening months, SMG has made some major R&D investments in a platform that makes managing (and, most importantly, updating) SMPR content quick and easy. This revolutionary new webservice is called Digital Snippets, and I’ll let Collin Douma, our Chief Strategist, explain exactly how it looks and functions:
“SMPRs are used to help digital content creators tell their stories, not just a place where you tell your stories to content creators. That’s a pretty fundamental shift from traditional PR practice, and one that we think far better reflects the current nature of successful communications.
Once released to the public, the traditional press release is not able to evolve the story. The content is often long, tremendously detailed and heavily editorialized text that the “traditional journalist” is paid to sift through. An SMPR, however, cuts out the editorial and streamlines the core content into easily digestible, quotable and most importantly, updatable “Digital Snippets”. This makes every item posted on an SMPR a potential “asset” for the influencers to quote, republish and editorialize credibly.
“Digital Snippets” updates the story with any combination of available multimedia assets including photos, videos, audio clips, graphs, pdfs, textual facts and any other type of story update imaginable. Since the new influencers are generally not paid to write, nor are they interested in spending more free time than necessary to create a post, podcast or article, we don’t wish to ask them to sift through 2000-3000 word press releases looking for “the point”. We want to give them the latest information in easily digestible chunks and we want them to be sure their source is credible.
An SMPR speaks to this and unlike the traditional press release, can be updated to tell the evolving story. Subscribers to the information get an editorial-free update to the SMPR as a “Digital Snippet”.
Download the Digital Snippets SMPR Template
In the tradition of Shift Communications’ release of that very first SMPR template, we also want to share. We’ve created a template that illustrates the functionality of the Digital Snippets platform available here as a .pdf for download. So please pull it down and use it as you please, we’ve licensed it under Creative Commons mashup and commercial share and share alike. Shift Communications is also planning to release an updated version of their SMPR template soon – it will be interesting to see if we’re all heading in the same direction.
If you’d like to find our more about SMG’s best-in-class Digital Snippets platform (which is built on open source, incidentally), please contact us. We’d be happy to run you through the program, including some of the metrics and measurements we’ve baked in to ensure that our clients know what’s working and why.
SMG SMPR Template – click to download
Ultimately, however, we’d love to hear from the social media community. Love it? Hate it? Please let us know what you think about this newest version of the SMPR.