There is a buzz around Storify, the social media curation platform that lets you create news stories with live content from Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Flickr and then share it back across those social media sites. Last year Storify won the Grand Prize winner in the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism and was featured in Time Magazine’s top 50 websites of the year. The electronics and engineering sector is beginning to see its potential as a PR and communications tool.

The rise of citizen journalism and web 2.0 has brought an immediacy and dynamism to news reporting with a wealth of comments, photographs and videos from people in the midst of news events.  Exciting as this is, it has created problems for dissemination and consumption.  How do you get your news or brand into the public eye, when there is such a bewildering array of content out there, competing for attention? can help.

Burt Herman, cofounder of Storify said, “There are so many people posting videos and updates and everything else that you can’t really find the things that matter when something important happens. … So to solve that we turned to curation and thinking about ways to let journalists, bloggers, or whoever wants to, find the best from social media and turn that into a story.”

Journalists already use storify to gather tried and tested content and opinion from across the social networks. Occasionally they will actually embed a Storify story into the online versions of their papers. See The Guardian (UK newspaper) for an example;

Journalism schools use Storify to teach their students how to structure a story, check sources and facts and include the relevant experts, influencers and opinion across a range of media.

How can Storify benefit technology PR?

Create a buzz leading up to a product launch or event: The Olympic Torch Relay and London 2012 are popular subjects for Storify users at the moment with tweets, video and images being curated into socially mediated news that then enters the traditional press. Engineering and electronics products and events can generate just as much enthusiasm and quality content from buyers and attendees. For an example of how the electronics industry can exploit this see CBC’s Storify about Apple at WWDC2012

Save time and money on digital marketing and publicity: Delegates and customers can do your marketing for you. Search for the relevant keywords and just select the best content, the wittiest tweets, the slickest videos and the most memorable photography. It provides a cost effective method of covering an event or product. Encourage delegates or customers to your next engineering conference or electronics product launch to use a keyword or hashtag to boost SEO and reward them for the best content. IBM Computing’s Storify account is a good example of this.

Capture brand mentions: The electronics PR people at Sony Network Entertainment produce a weekly Storify for each region to showcase consumer reaction to Sony tech products.  With Storify the comments and tweets can be arranged, annotated and put into some context that helps a company make sense of the public perception of its brand.

Engage with opinion leaders and influencers: Respond to key people in the electronics or engineering sector and  learn from them and reward them for their constructive criticism or support by incorporating their comments into your own Storify stories and mentioning them as you publicise. Show your customers that you care about their opinions and respond to feedback.

Gain credibility with free technology PR: Your public are more like to respond to a Storify stories as they contain the opinions of real people. A positive electronics review or recommendation from fellow customers is more credible than traditional marketing communications.

Boost your SEO: Storify stories are optimized for search engines. They carry your keywords and have the weight of the relevant sites and networks behind them. If you are seeking out mentions of your brand, your services and products for the electronics or engineering industry from other engineers, electronics experts, tech firms and an interested community of reviewers and customers and you curate them into an engaging story to be publicized across all major social media channels, you will aid your search engine ranking and improve visibility.

Go viral: This is easier said than done but Storify does make it very easy to spread the word as everyone you mention or quote in a story will be informed automatically when you hit the Storify publicize button, spreading your story across the major social networks. At the very least your tech news will be spread quickly within the electronics and engineering sector.

To get started with Storify take the Guided Tour.