How to improve and enrich your press releases in the digital age?

The digital revolution has profoundly changed the codes of traditional communication. The press release therefore necessarily has evolved at the same time. It is a real opportunity to better communicate and reach your audience effectively. Find out how to optimize your press releases in the digital age.
 

 

1 – The 2.0 Press Release

 

1.1 – Why you need a press release

 
The press release (or PR) is an article used as a communication tool for journalists, and more recently for bloggers & influencers. It can serve different purposes, including:

  • Bringing credibility to the company, enhancing its image
  • Clarifying a position, presenting a speech in a more structured way than on social networks
  • Giving important information, such as an innovation or obtaining a reward
  • Informing about an event, the release of a new product or service

When it is well used, it can be an asset for SEO, traffic generation and engagement.

The PR should not be seen as a simple advertisement, it is above all an informative document: to reach a target and generate engagement, its content must provide information and be of interest to the recipient (and its readers).
 
 

1.2 – Why you need to integrate multimedia into your PRs

 

80% of people remember what they see, while 30% of people remember what they read.
71% of journalists “always or often” use HD images and HD videos when working on an article **.
• 68% of PR Newswire’s 100 most visited press releases contain a multimedia component (61% included images and 7% included videos ***).
1.4 times more views noted by press releases containing images ***.
2.8 times more views for press releases containing videos ***.
 
*Source Jerome Bruner, psychologist **Source CIsion étude media 2019 ,***Source PR Newswire 2018
 
A digitalized press release can provide much greater visibility than traditional PRs.
 
Online tools allow you to bring interactivity to your PR by adding, for example:

  • Multimedia elements (photos, videos, infographics …);
  • Links to additional content;
  • Sharing buttons on social networks;
  • Calls to action …  

The goal is to make your PR attractive by enhancing its content. It’s good for your brand image, it makes journalists’ work easier and saves them time, and it generates more engagement: 
The integrated elements are visually attractive;

  • This can be practical and/or informative: a short video or an infographic to supplement the information or make the PR more impactful;
  • This gives an image of modernity to your business;
  • The content can be retrieved by journalists: quotable in one click on Twitter, videos can be shared on social networks or easily integrated into their article, etc.  

You have to be careful with the dosage: choose the interactivity elements that serve your purpose and provide added value. It’s not about doing interactivity just on principle or putting it everywhere at the risk of adding to the message, making it more difficult to read or posing technical problems. 

Do not limit yourself to a single distribution means to target journalists, rather take advantage of digital tools to increase the visibility of your PR and your SEO, by also disseminating it for example on:

  • Your newsletter;
  • Your website;
  • Your social networks.

To further improve your media coverage, consider creating a newsroom[1] on your website: this is a section dedicated to your news and all the relevant information concerning your company. Many journalists, investors, partners, and even curious ordinary consumers consult this section to learn more about a company or brand. In addition to press releases, there are generally:

  • The contact details of the company and the various contacts of managers;
  • The history of the company: its creation, its values, its vision, but also the significant events in its journey;
  • Your press kits for the media;
  • A press review;
  • Photos and videos …  

1-3 When to send a Press Release 

PR can be sent at any time. As we saw earlier, it can serve multiple purposes, so it is often the information it contains that determines the best time to send it.
 
If only one rule had to be retained, it would be to send the PR at the time when the information is the “freshest” and therefore most likely to be informative and of interest to the audience. If your press release does not add anything new, the reader will find no interest in reading or sharing it.
 
It’s not necessarily about being the first to share information. The PR can also be used in your strategy to clarify or confirm information that is already circulating. A company can let rumors in the press about a new product or innovation, to generate interest and positive buzz, and then confirm the information via an official press release.
 
A PR can also help you ease a crisis by clarifying it, for example when negative rumors spread about your business or your products. The point here is to intervene quickly enough not to let the  “bad buzz” take hold, especially in this era of social media.
 

2 — Information and target audience 

You must carefully sort out the journalists to whom you are sending your PRs because they will then disseminate your information to their audience. Building a list of recipients takes time and research. To avoid wasting time or making mistakes, follow these tips:

  • Learn about journalists, their interests, and their world. They receive dozens, if not hundreds, of PRs every week, so they don’t hesitate to send them to spam or block companies that are not relevant to them.

 

  • Also, find out about their audience: journalists orient their content accordingly (age, socio-professional category, purchasing power, etc.). So, if you offer high-tech products, it is not enough to speak to journalists who discuss this topic in general, you must send your PR to journalists who speak to an audience interested in your particular product.

 
It seems obvious, however, recipient errors remain common!
 
You have several options for finding recipients:

  • Buy a database with the contact details of journalists, bloggers and / or influencers corresponding to your target;
  • Create a database yourself by collecting contact details among subscribers to your newsletter, people in your professional network, websites that you follow as part of your activity …
  • Call on communication professionals.  

Whichever method you choose, to improve your communication with your recipients and give more weight to your PRs, follow these tips:

  • Take care of your communication with your recipients: do not contact a journalist only when you need them, rather try to build a real relationship based on an exchange;
  • Be clear in the subject of your emails, avoid attachments that are too rarely viewed and try to vary your content to maintain interest;
  • Before sending a PR, anticipate possible requests to respond quickly if necessary: if the journalist requests clarification or additional information on one point, you will save time (and credibility) if you can give him a response within a short time.  

 

3 — Content Optimisation/SEO/KPI

The digital press release is distributed online on your website, it necessarily represents an asset for SEO. For example, you can optimize its content using keywords, in an inbound marketing strategy aimed at improving the SEO of your site on Google.
 
Better yet: thanks to the analysis tools, you can determine the KPIs to follow to know precisely who consults your PRs, how often they have been opened, where and to what extent they have been shared, what content is of most interest, etc.
 
 

Conclusion

 
If the press release is not an advertising tool, strictly speaking, it can do a lot for your business by boosting its credibility and its media coverage … By using digital tools wisely, you can amplify[2] the impact of your PR, measure its effectiveness and obtain many positive benefits. The digital press release thus represents more than a technological evolution, it is an opportunity to be exploited!

 

References

  1. ^ newsroom (epresspack.com)
  2. ^ amplify (epresspack.com)

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