Category Archives: delicious

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.


Ike Pigott Draws RSS Blood and News

Ike Pigott, of Accentuate the Positive, 2.0, shared news of an interesting project at the Birmingham Red Cross.

Get Newsplorer! The campaign includes two blogs and a customized/branded RSS reader that you can download.

The blogs are Red Cross Media Alerts and Jefferson County EMA Media Alerts. Also, check out Ike’s version of a branded RSS reader. That is just one of many ways you could accomplish this neat little freebie. During an emergency situation, I can imagine some news people launching this to keep track of new posts.

I like this for several reasons. First, news outlets always want these Red Cross and EMA alerts. Many news outlets have not engaged in RSS and this is a way to turn them on to it easily.

…a local example of RSS and blog adoption from Birmingham…

Second, using Blogger (as Ike has) the sites are free. Any free hosted service will do. Perhaps this will spur other nonprofits into the blogosphere. Later on, they may start a blog from within their ranks – beyond news releases and alerts, after seeing how easy it can be to publish. Blogs are an easy way to tell your organization’s story.

Third – and Ike, this is where my students will love you – the branded RSS reader is so cool I’m going to require they make one as part of their final project.

Yes, I know some will say that RSS readers are everywhere and why would someone want your branded version. Well, if they have not adopted RSS and you are the one that gets them started, they may well keep your branded version for awhile. That means each time they start the reader (which you can add other feeds to, as well) they will see your logo and info. Now what is wrong with that? The effort to make one is so minimal that the real question might be “Why not make one?”

Finally, Ike is helping nonprofits get into new media and that is laudable. His efforts are also in line with the ideals behind Operation Link Love where we are trying to find examples of nonprofit blogging. Ike takes the next step of “paying it forward” and “giving back” by getting the nonprofits involved. Now that is admirable and I appreciate his efforts. Good job, Ike.