Maggie Fox recently sent me an email to talk about the new Social Media Press Release format she has been working on with Ford that she is now releasing as a template they call Digital Snippets. You can download the PDF to review for yourself. Overall I think it is a good step in the right direction. As I said to Maggie in an email discussing this, it feels a bit too densely packed and could use some more white space and simplification, but it is otherwise good and evolving nicely.
Jason Falls make a good point about including the context of the whole conversation around the news being published which is well taken, but I doubt we will see a full and proper execution from any large publicly traded company for some time like he envisions to include all things people write about the news. Perhaps in smaller companies and startups where they don’t have to fight all those lawyers and ‘not how things are done around here’ attitudes. Definitely not in a company where there is a boisterous and dare I say potential for negative feedback on any given number of issues by ongoing opposition. I am particularly thinking about labor, cafe standards, general haters of the brand and consumer safety folks who might take any opportunity to swipe at the company they could.
While I would like the SMPR to include link backs to all the people talking about the news, there are some situations and some companies which are simply not going to be treated fairly. This is one of the reasons GM was not enabling comments on their blog post on Fast Lane during labor negotiations that were ongoing during the strike in the fall (Shel Holtz has an excellent post on Blogging in a Strike). They were right then, and I think Ford was right in this situation. It could have been included on these releases if someone were to manually approve them as being relevant, but that approval process must include negative reviews as well as positive ones to have any credibility.
My only real issue here is that I am troubled by yet another attempt to rebrand the format with new terminology – especially since we have fought so hard to generate understanding around the SMPR language. Why does everyone need to ‘own the language’ when building on top of someone else’s work? From my perspective, it is another template that may be used to do Social Media Press Releases in the same spirit that Todd Defren originally created it after speaking with Tom Foremski. Social Media Group certainly is accrediting Todd properly, but I don’t see why we would call these digital snippets – perhaps I am just missing the point of why they are different…