When “Canadians Looking to Spend Their Summer Vacations Close to Home This Year #ChipTrips” appeared in the Social Media Release section of its online newswire service, CNW may not have realized at the time that Frito Lay Canada become the first company to feature a hashtag in a CNW headline. It was a simple and brilliant idea and I’m proud to say it was the handiwork of FH colleague Miranda McCurlie.

I’ve offered some thoughts on SMRs and how to use them effectively here and here. The use of hashtags, particularly in a headline, is a great example of how SMRs should be integrated more closely with the digital culture from which they originate in order to achieve a greater impact. In fact, within minutes of the release going live, people were already incorporating the hashtag in their Tweets.

Miranda is quick to point out the hashtag does not appear in the traditional media release for the ChipTrips campaign. However, the online version of the traditional release directs attention to the SMR where the full story is presented. I suspect it’s a matter of time before digital culture is more tightly integrated into traditional media releases.

Full disclosure: Frito Lay Canada is a client of my employer, Fleishman-Hillard.