In preparation for today’s webinar on the latest with social media press releases that I did for Bulldog Reporter/PR University, I spent a half hour on the line recently with Jason Kintzler, co-founder and CEO of PitchEngine, a site I’ve used to good effect in the past year.
Founded in 2008 as “a new kind of social PR platform,” PitchEngine enables users to create and share their own content, including images, videos and more. Anyone — an agency, brand or Internet publisher — can put up her own release for 30 days at no cost. Since its launch, some 28,000 companies, nonprofits and organizations have uploaded more than 81,000 pitches aimed not just at journalists but tailored to bloggers, online influencers and folks on Twitter and Facebook.Today, nearly half of the releases that come into PitchEngine are social media news releases rather than traditional press releases, Kintzler — a former journalist based in Wyoming (Wyoming!) who’s @jasonkintzler on Twitter — told me.
“If you’re a business and have a story to tell, you should spread that story,” Kintzler said. “It’s not only about putting up a document. You want to enable people to embed images and videos and help you tell your story.”
Smartly, Kintzler suggests that we’re heading to a future where social media optimization matters just as much as search engine optimization, and so companies should be looking for solutions where they “can create one piece of content that does all these things at once.”
One of the best features of PitchEngine is its easy-to-use template for creating social media releases: Just plunk the headline, text, tags, bullet points and media into the appropriate fields, hit and button and you’re done.
Use a PR wire service? ‘They own your content’
Companies that use PR wires want to get their message out, but one thing to keep in mind is that you may lose some of your rights with traditional wire services. “When you put your content the on wire services, they own your content,” Kintzler said. Not so with PitchEngine. “We don’t own your content — it’s yours.” Given that press releases are evolving into blog-like social newsroom platforms, that could be important. PitchEngine offers an open platform where a premium is put on sharing, sharing, sharing.
PitchEngine is, in a sense, an online resource for thousands of disparate subjects, with 300,000 people a month who search and filter content.
Pricing is very reasonable:
• $39/month Basic (small businesses)
• $79 Pro (adds a social newsroom)
• $199 (best for multiple brands or agencies)
Other services that offer a way to build social media releases are RealWire, prxbuilder, PR Newswire MultiVu (cost varies from $1,750 to $3,750) and Business Wire EON (Enhanced Online News runs about $195/month).
I can’t go into much further detail here because of Bulldog’s policy of not reproducing content created for its webinars — hence, no Slideshare for the presentation I did with Mark Budgell of HP. To access the archived webinar, you’ll have to pony up some bucks to Bulldog Reporter.JD Lasica is founder of Socialmedia.biz. We work with large and mid-size businesses and organizations on social media strategies and optimizing your online presence. Contact JD by email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.