Basically it's press release and blog post mashup - it lies somewhere in the middle. SMRs provide a way to package a story so that other people (publishers and bloggers) can take it and make it their own. SMRs leverage social tools like digg, del.icio.us and Technorati and can allow comments like a blog post so readers can respond. Here's a great example of how HP is packaging their SMRs - you can also download a template from Shift Communications here.
This was interesting to me for a few reasons:
- First: It continues on the trend of pull content (vs. push). With SMRs you just put it out there and leave it up to your audience to find it and use it (rather than try to sell them or 'pitch' them the content).
- Second: As a marketer, I'm always looking for the medium to fit the message and this gives me a brand new option. With some focused testing, it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out which messages are best for traditional PR and which can benefit most from SMR.
- Third: Used correctly, this is far more likely than your vanilla press release to create a viral effect. Giving people the power of taking your most timely 411 a-la-carte will make it easier for them to consume, process, and re-distribute.
I'm no expert in SMRs by any means but I am going to work with my PR team to make sure they start considering it for future announcements.