Social Media Press Release via WordPress Installation and Structured Blogging

For some time now, I have wanted to create a process through which students may practice creating versions of this new-fangled social media press release concept.

thumbnail of SMPR release formatNow, I have it. Simple, yet functional.

For our fall classes, we have created a new site: The Loveliest Village Newsroom. This is part of a larger site where students will be posting news and feature stories they will write and produce (audio and video) during the semester. The Loveliest Village utilizes blogs, a wiki, Flickr, and is intended to provide experiential learning.

I am looking for some help with this project, if any of you are interested. A skilled coder/developer willing to help adapt the structured blogging plugin will be particularly useful. The version I have modified will work, but it can be more fully developed.

Our newsroom will utilize WordPress and various plugins, including: Structured Blogging, podPress, WP Notable, WP Print, WP Lightbox JS 2 and Ultimate Tag Warrior. All of those will combine to allow posting releases featuring the major elements of a social media release (PDF) similar to the one suggested by Todd Defren.

Using this WordPress implementation, the posting will still require the use of code. This file of HTML/CSS code is one example of how we will accomplish the format.

This zip file is the adaptation I made to the showcase-person.xml file within the structured blogging plugin.

Overall, this is a simple modification, but it allows us to practice (a) HTML, (b) CSS, (c) writing skills, and (d) creating social media releases.

I have two primary reasons for doing this. First, I want to have a process by which my students may practice the various principles we are studying – writing and production (HTML, CSS, graphics, layout). Second, I would like for them to have a leg up on understanding the social media release upon graduation. We are still blogging and commenting, by the way.

I’ll write more later. I hope to have some very exciting news to share later this week.

Update: After doing all of this, I went over to listen to the latest (Sept. 4) edition of Social Media Club’s Social Media Cast 0.2 with Shel Holtz (FIR), Chris Heuer and Brian Solis. In that podcast, the group discusses how some corporations are considering doing their releases through a blog due to the high costs associated with doing it at one of the major press release distribution services. So, this is quite interesting. I believe that a modified WordPress or MT site can accomplish this process. Of course, the blogs won’t have the reach that one gains from services like PRNewsire or Business Wire, but it does reach the search engines.

Given the Social Media Club’s work on developing standards for such releases, we will be watching their work with interest.


0 thoughts on “Social Media Press Release via WordPress Installation and Structured Blogging

  1. Brian Solis

    Robert, this is tremendous on many fronts. It’s people like you that will help propel the efforts behind social media and PR. It will also help prepare students for a brighter future. I recdently wrote on the subject of how many colleges were not adequately preparing PR students and what you’re doing here is exemplary.

    Please make sure to submit this to when we announce our contest for best practices in SMPR. Have you considered joining the working group?

    Also, feel free to join us at

    Past article for your review…

  2. Robert

    Thank you, Brian. Any tool that allows students to experiment with new ideas is worth the time developing.

    I will watch the Social Media Club and the Google group for details on the best practices contest. I have been a member of the newmediarelease group for a while now.

    Also, if you know of a coder/developer that may help with this, I’d appreciate a lead. I’m even willing to pay for the work, if I can afford it.

    Your article about higher ed PR preparation caught my eye some time ago. I agree with many of your points. Our program, for instance, requires one internship to graduate. Further, we encourage multiple work experiences and internships. Exploring, adopting and adapting new ideas and technologies – like SMPR and blogs – is just one more way we try to engage our students.

    I look forward to discussions on these and other issues down the road. Thanks.

  3. Kami Huyse

    I think this is very interesting, I wish that I had the skills you needed. I think that online newsrooms can be easily built on a blog backbone, which is what I hope to do for my new website. A plugin would be useful to many in this community, so I will keep my eyes open for resources in this area. I wonder if Josh Hallett could help?

  4. Robert

    Hey, Kami.

    Online newsrooms can be built with blog software. In fact, I’m trying to get into the practice of not even using the term “blog” when referring to this kind of implementation. WordPress and Movable Type are, after all, content management systems (CMS) and have long been used to develop full blown Web sites.

    The stuctured blogging plugin is the best answer I’ve found, so far. With time I believe we’ll find someone (or some people) to adequately adapt the plugin.

    I actually did ask Josh some time ago, but he said he couldn’t help me on this one. But, that was when I was referring to the Admin section and hacking away in there. Now that I realize it can be accomplished with .xml files, he may be able to help. I just haven’t written back to ask again … yet. 🙂