I sincerely like most of the folks I meet from the major wire services. But untangling their claims with regard to their Social Media capabilities has proven tough.

Each service has made huge strides since we first released the Social Media Release template back in 2006, but each service has also taken slightly different routes in terms of functions and pricing.

More than one client has asked for our opinion about, “Which service is best for SMRs?” – and we’ve never had a consistent answer. The market changes quickly, for one, and some wire services will work better than others, depending on the clients’ needs and budgets.

Still, it’s nice to have a checklist, eh? A quick way to compare the claims?

You can now download SHIFT Communications’ handy PDF: a one-slide Guide to Social Media Release Capabilities Across the Major Wire Services.

We contacted representatives of each service to make sure we properly represented their offerings, though admittedly we did add a tinge of subjectivity (e.g., in terms of pricing). You’ll note that we did not provide specifics on pricing, as “your mileage may vary” in terms of negotiating with the wires’ sales reps.

It’s also important to note that we’re not making any judgments here about the relative value of each service in terms of their distribution power. PRNewswire and BusinessWire, for example, are the grandaddies of wire services and have many strategic partnerships in place that might make their overall offering more powerful, even if they don’t always match MarketWire and PRWeb in all-things-social. These are issues that absolutely need to be considered and discussed amongst client, agency and wire service representatives.

Special thanks to our own Christopher Lynn, a stalwart SHIFT employee and star blogger at “SocialTNT.” Chris did most of the research for this grid. If you haven’t already, you should subscribe to his blog. You won’t be disappointed.

And if you find these “Social Media Tactics” helpful, be sure to check out the “Jedi Training” section of this blog. (Why not subscribe to PR-Squared while you’re at it?)

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