Social Media Release Checklist /by dna13

Social Media Release Checklist

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Since CNW launched our Social Media Release in 2008 we’ve put out our own fair share of SMRs.  I like to think I’ve got coordinating assets for an SMR down to an art, but I do know how overwhelming the task of putting together your first SMR can feel.

Here is a checklist that I devised to help me organize the elements of each SMR CNW puts out that may help you too.  While I have included video, audio and photos on the checklist you can distribute a Social Media Release with as many or as few assets as you desire. All you need is one photo to make it an SMR!


News Release Perhaps obvious, but it’s a crucial element to your SMR and deserves the number one spot on your checklist.  Do you have English and French versions?  Are you also issuing a wire version of your release?

Contact Information Include daytime and after-hours telephone numbers, email address and websites for contacts that will be available and ready to respond to your release.

Boilerplate A boilerplate is a short paragraph summarizing an organization or company, included at the bottom of your news release.  Make sure your boilerplate is up-to-date and that you include this information for each organization issuing the news release.

Quotes You can highlight quotes embedded in your news release or craft separate quotes for this section.  If you would like to highlight different quotes, be sure to save them in a separate document and identify this when you submit your assets.

Biographies / Head shots You can include a profile of each executive or spokesperson quoted in your news release.  Be sure to include a short biography and current head shot for each.

Logo Do you have your organization or client’s logo for the release? If there is more than one organization issuing the release, include each one’s logo.


Video Include a title for each video you are including in your release and the order you would like them to appear.

Audio Same thing for audio. Include a title for each audio clip; if you have more than one, specify the order you would like them to appear.

Photos Identify the title for each photo and include a cutline (a short description of the photo, with a credit to the photographer).  If you are including multiple photos, identify the order they should appear on your release.  Links can also be embedded into the body of your release.

Additional Links What else would a reporter or blogger need to write about your news release?  This is the place to include links to websites, background information, social media properties, additional documents, anything that may be of interest to or helpful for the reader of your release.

Tags Each SMR includes delicious and Technorati tags; this is what puts the “social” in Social Media Release.  Include as many tags as you can think of to make your SMR easily found.  As an example, here are the tags I included in our recent SMR announcing CNW’s acquisition of dna13:

cnw, cnw group, dna13, carolyn mcgill-davidson, kevin o’neil, kirk lapointe, scott anderson, mathew ingram, mediavantage, media, newswire, public relations, pr, media monitoring, news release, press release, communications, breakfast with the media, acquisition, software, startup, ottawa, Toronto

Everything else:

Launch date and time Self explanatory, but when you’re coordinating several files and documents at once it’s easy to forget something simple like the date you want your SMR to go live!

Multimedia distribution rights Make sure you have the distribution rights for your audio, video and photo assets.  YouTube will remove any videos that contain unauthorized use of copywritten material.  Even using a popular song as background music in your video may get flagged by YouTube.

If you’ve issued a Social Media Release how did you keep your assets organized?

Photo credit: xololounge from

NOTE: I don't understand why putting together a social media release can be 'overwhelming' . Yes, making a video takes time. But then again, so does crafting a good press release. Big deal, it comes with the job etc. etc.

I spent WAY more time on pitching, either drafting it, or via e-mail or via phone 'doing it'.

Take my advice. Use PitchEngine or PressDoc if you don't have the budget to make your own :-). Or just use a wordpress blog or section for press releases, it looks so much better that way!