We've been working on our social media press releases (SMPRs) in COM 459, Public Relations Tactics. This is part of what has turned into a multi-week assignment. For the first part, we wrote traditional news releases for a local yogurt store that just opened across the street from campus. (News releases for class use only, not for real distribution.) Then we discussed the difference between social media releases and traditional releases. We decided we needed to take a field trip over to Yogurtland to collect some multimedia resources and sample the product. Being the conscientious teacher that I am, I made sure to pretest the product before proceeding (yum!).
We did run into some obstacles:
- the computers in the class lab only run Safari browsers, which did not work well with PRX Builder, and
- even with other browsers, students (and their professor) had trouble loading multimedia elements.
For those of you on PROpenMic, you might want to check the site for another SMPR builder in the works that might be worth a look.
Anyhow, I modified the assignment to allow students to hand in mock-ups of the SMPRs in MS Word that illustrated how the writing, feeds and multimedia components would work together.
This week, we'll continue to discuss:
- technical issues, and lessons learned from these issues,
- pros and cons of SMPRs vis-a-vis traditional press releases, and
- the broader function of social media tactics in public relations strategy.