The Social Media News Release (SMR or SMNR) was inspired by former Financial Times journalist and now prominent Silicon Valley blogger Tom Foremski. In his original post, Die Press Release, Die Die Die, he passionately explained how the PR industry could no longer write and distribute worthless press releases as a means of desperately vying for the attention of notable influencers. In social media, nothing is truer. Our stories, if not told in a human voice aimed at the people we’re trying to reach, shoots over the heads of those who could potentially benefit from it. As a result, Todd Defren of Shift Communications introduced the Social Media Press Release Template to inspire a new generation of press releases that were designed to convey a story more concisely and effectively, using the tools and services familiar with new media and their audiences.
A New Media Release Working Group led by Social Media Club founder Chris Heuer and joined by Shel Holtz, Todd Defren, Tom Foremski, Shannon Whitley, among others, worked to standardize the format to reinvigorate traditional press releases. In doing so, the group created a format that featured integrated social media and hype-free content.