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Social Media Club Forms Working Group to Develop New Standard for Press Release

On the heels of its official launch, Social Media Club (SMC) formed the Media Release Working Group to begin development of the hRelease , a new standard for modernizing the traditional press release for a Web-centric world.

The Media Release Working Group will work closely with the Microformats community, while evaluating other technologies such as XPRL, XBRL, and NewsML to establish a standard way of organizing, tagging, distributing, and sharing ‘official’ organizational communications among blogs and other online communities. The group intends to present an initial draft specification on November 2nd at the Society for New Communications Research Symposium in Boston.

Current members include:
· Chris Heuer, Social Media Club
· Brian Solis, FutureWorks and PR2.0
· Tom Foremski, SiliconValleyWatcher
· Mark Nolan, PR Newswire
· Laura Sturaitis, BusinessWire
· Bill Accola, Marketwire
· Todd Defren, SHIFT Communications and PR Squared
· Jen McClure, Society for New Communications Research
· Jason Baptiste, TheWeblogWire
· Todd Van Hoosear, Topaz Partners
· Sally Falkow, Falkow, Inc.
· Darin Wolter, Marketwire

According to Heuer, “The Media Release Working Group is the first tactical step of this increasingly important initiative. This working group is dedicated to addressing the industry’s concerns with the existing press release format while maximizing the value of news content for an Internet-driven world. We are striving to create a standard that everyone can support by including every stakeholder group’s perspective and we aim to make significant progress before the end of the year.”

Brian Solis who is on the Social Media Club Advisory Board and a member of the working group added, “This is a very important initiative as many view the traditional press release as only scratching the surface of its potential value within the emerging, and increasingly influential, online media movement. We will work with some of the industry’s most prominent players that are involved in the press release process every step of the way, to help create a proposed new standard for industry-wide adoption.”

The effort is inspired in part by working group members, including Tom Foremski, who, in his original blog post , proclaimed “Die! Press Release! Die! Die! Die!,” and by Todd Defren of SHIFT Communications, who offered the first example of a “social media” press release.

“The Society for New Communications Research is very pleased to be a partner in this important industry-wide initiative,” stated Jen McClure, executive director, Society for New Communications Research. “We are confident that by bringing together a wide range of participants in this collaborative effort, we will successfully develop a standard that will benefit organizations, professional communicators, traditional journalists, bloggers and social media practitioners, media companies and their audiences.”

The goal for the working group is to include at least 1-2 members from the different stakeholder groups that include: journalists, news wires, editors, public relations, bloggers, podcasters, academics, and technology specialists.

To follow the developments of this group, or get involved, the New Media Release Google Group hosts real-time discussions of the future of the Press Release. Interested parties may also write blog posts or identify relevant articles with the tag ‘hRelease.’ The working group will document its progress in the the hRelease Wiki donated by SocialText. There is also a weekly NMR (New Media Release) discussion hosted by Shel Holtz on his award-winning For Immediate Release (FIR) podcast.

The Media Release Working Group will hold its first meeting on September 14th via a Skype conference call.

· Social Media Club –
· Social Media Club Membership –
· New Media Release Google Group –
· hRelease Wiki –
· For Immediate Release NMR podcasts –
· Todd Defren’s Social Media Press Release template –

About SMC is an association of amateur and professional social media practitioners that are committed to sharing best practices, supporting ethics and standards, and promoting media literacy. Social Media Club was founded by Chris Heuer, serial Internet entrepreneur and Chairman of the not-for-profit .

Tags: Laura+Sturaitis, social media optimization, smpr, smo, press release, new media,

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