Social Media News Releases achieve three times the pickup

In the summer of 2009 we did some analysis looking at whether Social Media News Releases (SMNR) achieved more coverage than “traditional” press releases. The analysis of almost one thousand releases showed that SMNRs distributed by RealWire generated twice the editorial coverage and almost four times the blog coverage.

A few weeks ago whilst discussing the timing of a FIR interview with me on the value of press releases (which is now published here by the way) Shel Holtz asked me if I had any plans to update the research. As it had been over 18 months this seemed a good idea so I booted up Excel and here are the results


1,044 releases were analysed from those distributed in the 6 months from September 2010 to March 2011
Coverage is data is based on RealWire’s Proveit coverage tracking and evaluation service
79 were Social Media News Releases (releases related to 62 different companies, across 21 different industry sectors)
965 were “Traditional” Releases (releases related to 339 different companies, across 28 different industry sectors)

So overall the sample of SMNRs achieved over three times as much editorial/blog coverage on average (15.7 pieces v 5.0 pieces) as the “traditional” releases.

Some examples from different sectors of high performing SMNRs include releases by Panasonic, Alterian, 3M, Warner Bros, Rolls Royce and Aviva.

As with the previous analysis I think one of the primary reasons for the difference in performance is that the additional investment that can often be required to produce an SMNR – multimedia assets, links to background research etc – means that they are used for stories that the sender perceives are potentially high impact and therefore likely to be of interest to a wide audience.

Another reason could be the lower proportion of B2B releases in the SMNR sample. However I am not necessarily convinced this is the case as there are plenty of examples of B2B releases in the traditional sample that performed to a similar level as the best performing B2C SMNRs.

As I indicated in my interview with Shel I think it is more likely that a higher proportion of traditional releases are more informative in nature e.g. new appointment, new customer, financial results, tradeshow attendance etc. These stories are of potential value to relevant publications, but it is likely that the number of such publications will be lower than where the release is around a broader topic of conversation e.g. research, market changes, new products etc. If people would find this of interest then let me know in the comments as further study of the nature of the releases themselves might shed some more light.

In the meantime on a short promotional note it is good to see that our overall pickup stat of 80%+ of releases gaining editorial/blog coverage still compares very favourably with our competition :-)

PRFilter Technology PR Rankings launched

The PRFilter platform has been publicly live for a month now and in that time there have been thousands of searches performed. But as well as finding relevant press releases PRFilter now has a wealth of data on press release content.

Independently Adam Sherk last month used PRFilter to look at how often buzzwords are used in releases – read more about it here. We in turn thought it would be interesting to look at which technology brands, topics and products have been talked about most in press releases over the last couple of months. As an industry there is a lot of time and money spent analysing what the media writes/talks about, but what are PRs trying to talk about and do the two things fit?

Thats why we have produced our first PRFilter Technology PR Rankings. These rankings analyse the tens of thousands of releases indexed by PRFilter each month and look for the most talked about technology brands, topics and products within them.

Highlights from this first month (February 2011) include:

  • MicrosoftFacebook and Verizon were the top three most referenced technology brands.
  • Cloud related technologies, websites and wireless were the top three most referenced technology topics with iPhone and iPad the top ranking products.
  • Mentions of Microsoft and Facebook were around twice the number of Apple (ranked 5th).
  • Releases mentioning cloud technologies were more than twice as frequent as those referencing social media however this was down from three times as frequent in January.
  • iPad related releases were down 37% perhaps reflecting a calm before March iPad2 storm.
  • Significant increases in mentions of telecoms brands e.g. EricssonNokia and ZTE and technologies e.g. LTE and NFC, reflecting the hosting of Mobile World Congress during the month.

A presentation of the full details of the Top 25 technology brands and the Top 50 technology topics/products can be found here or view below.

This first month’s rankings demonstrate that a large number of stories are being created around certain brands and topics and not all of these are necessarily in areas that are likely to provoke great interest from the media.

We hope that producing these monthly rankings will assist public relations practitioners in developing a higher proportion of stories that journalists and bloggers find of interest and lead to improved coverage for the companies concerned.

As this is the first month there are bound to be things we could do better or information people would like to see next time so please let us know in the comments.

We have also started with Technology because that was the sector PRFilter was initially focussed on when it was first launched. However if there is demand we will look to expand the rankings to cover other sectors. Again feel free to let us know.