We’re not a PR firm. But like so many communicators these days, we’re being asked to wear new and different hats. One of these is the digital press release. As we navigate the world of PR and prepare news releases, social content, and media placements for our clients, here are some handy things we’ve discovered about creating press releases in the sharing age.
The journalists have spoken. 80 percent of journalists have online reporting responsibilities, a recent study shows. And 86 percent of them prefer to receive news releases via email (snail mail, fax, and wire services are so twentieth century). Fully digital press releases make journalists’ jobs easier. And when you make somebody’s life easier, they’re likely to return the favor.
To really read journalists’ minds, integrate releases within a marketing automation system. Learning which messages get opened and what links get clicked will help you refine releases to meet news orgs’ needs.
Press releases are social. This should come as no surprise: social media is huge in today’s press releases. That means not only linking to to your company’s existing social profiles but also providing content that’s tailor-made for digital channels.
Think headlines of a tweet-able length, embed codes for video clips, and links writers can use to share content on the spot. Each piece of the release should be independently shareable, so journalists can craft just the angle they’re after.
It’s all about multimedia. Text-only press releases are a thing of the past. As journalists break news increasingly through social channels, it’s the visuals that tell the story. In fact, the actual “release” should occupy a pretty small portion of a content package. Extras, like photos, infographics, and videos, are what journalists want.
Be sure to include multiple images (high- and low-res), web-quality video (with embed codes), and links for further reading. The more content you can offer, the greater your appeal—and better your chances of getting picked up.
While press releases remain the domain of PR pros, the popularity of digital releases reflects a huge shift in communications in general. The way people find and retain information is changing. And we’re excited to be a part of it.