It’s been a week since we announced the Digital Snippets social media release platform and shared the template that explains its functionality. The news spawned quite a bit of discussion online, which is fabulous! We’re really hoping that interested parties will dig into the work that we’ve done and improve upon it further – it’s very early days for all this stuff, and as we have stood on the shoulders of giants in our work, so we hope others will do as well.
I’d like to take this opportunity to deepen the conversation and spark a discussion about functionality and use. It’s been brought to my attention that the best way for me to do this is to get granular and explain the detailed workings of Digital Snippets and just why we (and others) feel it’s so innovative.
- Existing examples of social media press releases are web-based versions of the standard press release, with additional assets available for richer storytelling (some hosted on a firm’s server, others using YouTube and Flickr, as we have done). In many applications, the channels they’re released on are RSS-enabled so that when new releases are issued, subscribers are automatically notified. However, like a print publication, once the release is issued, it’s finished. There is no ongoing story.
- That’s the primary difference between Digital Snippets and most existing SMPR formats. Our SMPRs support a company or product narrative – in fact, if you have a one-off announcement, this platform is not appropriate (unless it’s is made in the context of a larger corporate story, see our Ford Year in Review SMPR as an example).
- Digital Snippets are modular press release platforms that allow companies to tell evolving stories – not static ones that are over the minute they hit the web. A great example is the F-150 SMPR, which was recently updated to include a significant award, and will continue to be updated as the story unfolds and new features are highlighted.
- The term “Digital Snippets” was the name we gave to the modules within the release. Take a look at the SMPR for the Verve Concept Car, each block of assets is what we refer to as a “Snippet” – each one has its own RSS feed, so that when a new piece of news is issued (and an older one archived) subscribers are automatically notified.
- In many ways we have cut the cord to the model of the traditional press release. With Digital Snippets you no longer need to issue multiple discrete releases, you merely need to add an update to the existing SMPR on that topic, where it will live in context with all past and future updates, guaranteeing that online content producers have all the assets they require to tell your complete story.
We’d love to spark some productive debate around the functional merits and shortcomings of this latest evolution of the SMPR. Please leave a comment and let us know what you think!
Maybe I’m missing something here, but I’m having trouble differentiating how Ford’s use of the SMR is any different from their ersatz social media work in late 2006 (“Ford Bold Moves”), as profiled in Larry Weber’s “Marketing To The Social Web.” I’m not going to deny the usefulness of all of the RSS feeds, Flickr and YouTube links here, but I’ve got two questions:
1. Where are the comments?
2. Why is it that none of the linked resources are independent non-Ford entities?
Gas mileage notwithstanding, these two SMRs don’t deliver on the innovation’s initial promise; I don’t see how this is any type of evolution or iteration.
Is there a possibility of including options like print, forward, and highlighting comments that have been answered to for a particular post?
I am kind of knew to this whole online marketing and pr outfit, but it seems to me that one of the big points of a social media release is to get reporters to write about your company.
I also have been told that by issuing multiple releases it increases your search engine visibility and since part of the search engine metric is updated content, having multiple releases is one way to achieve this goal.
So my question is doesn’t having one on-going release ruin this strategy or is there a way to use the new template to still accomplish this goal?
@John – that’s a great question. Google really likes web presences that are regularly updated (that’s why many people use blogs purely for SEO) so using an SMPR platform to release your message will give you the same or better online presence.
Of course, the other 50% of the SMPR equation is reaching out to online influencers to let them know that your content is there, and that still needs to happen, often in a very traditional way.
Once people know the content is there, however, and subscribe to it via the RSS feed, they will be regularly and automatically notified of updates.
Thanks for stopping by!
**Double posting this comment on both your DS posts.**
I’ve been thinking about your request for feedback and gave you some on my blog post on the SMPR (http://m-2-m.typepad.com/m2m/2008/02/social-media-pr.html).
However, the more I think about it the more I think the SMPR is really the tip of a really interesting iceberg of Social Media promotional technology. I would love your feedback on my ideas as well, from the perspective of how you think your clients would react to them. I know it’s easy to come up with ideas and another thing entirely to get the client to buy in!
And thanks for (re)generating this discussion. It’s very interesting.
Tying communictions to an evolving ‘business story’ is fine but it has to emerge from a business that sees its whole business (not just its PR) as a narrative and a conversation.
Hi all the list numbers are 1. Something wrong in coding