I’ve written a handful of press releases since I arrived at Veritas. I must have read thousands of press releases as a reporter — out of hundreds of thousands that I received through e-mail, fax and even good old fashioned snail mail.

Much has been written about the press release lately — from Tom Foremski’s call for the death of press releases to Shift Communication’s proposed template for a “social media release” for the world of social communications.

As part of com.motion’s launch last week, we quietly “released” our first Social Media Release (shown here). We have others in development for clients which will be released in the coming weeks. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, we tried to adapt what we saw as the best practices in the design and functionality of other pioneering Social Media Release efforts. (Our biggest tinker was to move “contact information” to the bottom of the release in an effort to improve search engine optimization.) The idea is to host a press release on the Web, but make it easier for a reporter/blogger/consumer to access the facts and quotes they are looking for, while supplementing it with multimedia tools like video and images and social media tools like social bookmarking and the ability for bloggers, reporters and/or consumers to leave comments.

As blogger and a former reporter, I believe Social Media Releases have tremendous potential to reach both groups, as well as to serve as an additional marker on the Web for consumers. It is a product we strongly recommend to clients who have big announcements and are looking to maximize coverage in the mainstream press and on blogs. As you can see from all the coverage we received over com.motion’s launch, it certainly worked for us.

mcarthur (at) veritascanada.com

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