July 1, 2013
The SEC’s ruling in April approving dissemination of information via social media has sparked a lot of conversation about the future of press releases within the PR community.
Although there are many acceptable modes for sharing information — from corporate websites to newspaper ads to Facebook posts — the vast majority of companies still issue press releases. Why? Because they are a real-time, effective way to distribute information to shareholders, and the networks are deep, broad and efficient.
At Marketwired, we’ve been helping our clients share information for 30 years, and we’ve learned about effectively distributing press releases along the way. Here are some tips:
Like most forms of communication, whether you are text messaging, tweeting or distributing a press release, there is a fine line between sharing and over-sharing. To avoid your content losing its value (or worse yet, having someone view it as spam), limit your press releases to one or two per month. It’s better to distribute a limited number of engaging releases than a steady stream of mediocre content.
In order to maximize the impact of your release, you need to know who you are trying to reach. When you distribute a release, it’s important to keep your audience in mind and target those demographics, networks and outlets.
If you want to reach a wide variety of national publications, then select U.S. National. If your release focuses on local content, then reach out to local channels. If the content is industry-specific, then select a channel that focuses on distributing exclusively to your target industries. A little time spent focusing on your audience can greatly increase the impact of your release.
Just as blog posts that include photos tend to garner more views, adding images, videos and infographics to your release can make it more memorable and engaging.
Creating a dynamic experience for recipients is important in an increasingly immersive and participatory online culture. If you opt to include multimedia in a release, then be sure to include a concise description, as well as a link to your website or product information to deepen user engagement.
As a result of the increasing popularity of mobile devices, more people than ever before are turning to social sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest for news and information. Not only are readers receiving news in these channels, but they’re also using them to share and discuss information with others in their network. Take advantage of social sites to increase online visibility and increase engagement.
Tapping into additional SEO products that newswires offer can increase the effectiveness of your release. For example, find a product that allows you to select additional keywords, which will enhance the visibility of your press release.
Sophisticated products will offer keyword analyzers that take it one step further by grading a press release’s search-engine ranking potential and offering suggestions to fully optimize content for greater online visibility.
Data can provide you with valuable information about the effectiveness of a release. Many newswires offer analytical reports that will give you access to important metrics regarding visibility, engagement and reach. Take time to monitor and explore these reports, and use the information to hone and improve future communication initiatives.
The press release remains one of the most effective, efficient ways to distribute information. Integrating these best practices into your communication strategy will ensure that you’re maximizing the impact of your release and reaching the right people.
Broaden your skill set with access to an extensive library of live and on-demand professional development webinars — one of PRSA's premier member benefits.