How To Use the Press Release As an Effective Publicity Tool

 

The rise of alternative media – in the form of blogs, mobile platforms and new social media platforms – has led to a significant re-thinking of the traditional press release. Boring news items simply won’t get traction these days. And press releases that don’t include access to multimedia (such as photos and video clips) will also be easily ignored by busy bloggers and journalists. With that in mind, here are five tips for maximizing the effectiveness of your press release.

#1: Make sure your press release is newsworthy

How do you know if your press release is attention-getting and newsworthy? Just ask yourself if you can imagine people sharing, liking and commenting on the story across social media. Thus, the announcement of a new corporate partnership might seem interesting to your CEO, but to most bloggers and journalists, this is basically “meh.” The same thing goes for a new corporate hire — unless that new corporate hire happens to be a rock star in the industry.

#2: Look for a marketing hook to get journalists interested

Keep in mind – you’re pitching to an audience of very informed (and busy) people. Most bloggers and journalists are inundated with emails imploring them to write about a certain topic, a certain company or a certain product. That’s why it’s important to make it clear from the outset what the “hook” is, and how it relates to a certain writer’s domain of expertise. The good news is that many stories can be pitched in several different ways. For example, a story about an innovative, environmentally sustainable product can be pitched as either a “green” story or as a “tech and innovation” story.

#3: Include relevant multimedia

Your job is to make the role of the writer as easy as possible. One way to do that is to provide access to high-resolution images and short, embeddable video clips. That makes it very easy for a journalist to include those images in a story without being forced to rely on stock photos or archived images. Great images will always make a story “pop” – so you want to be sure that you include access to these multimedia assets whenever possible.

#4: Syndicate your press releases

You should have a syndication strategy in place for your press releases. This means more than just sending out a cold email pitch every few days to a group of bloggers and journalists. It’s now very easy to submit your press releases to resources such as Google News, Yahoo News, Bing News, and other news media sites through wire services.

#5: Make experts available for comment

One more way to make your press releases really stand out is to make experts available for comment about topics included in those press releases. This goes one step beyond just having a lot of “canned” quotes added to a generic press release. If a journalist really cares about a topic, he or she will really appreciate the chance to talk with a real expert without the hassle of searching through their own database of contacts.

Of course, it goes without saying that you should be constantly updating your database of writers, bloggers, journalists, and social media influencers who might be interested in receiving news about your company. Over time, you may be able to build relationships with them and learn more about their special interests or niches. That increases the chances that your press release will eventually become a story or article on the Internet.

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