Is the Press Release Dead?

Working in the “wire” space, we hear this question from our clients daily. Our answer: A resounding no. And that’s not simply based on internal statistics. PR Daily, PRSA and other notable organizations claim the same and offer plenty of advice for ensuring your news the best shot at online visibility.

If you’re issuing a news release, be sure that it’s just that – news! No one wants to comb through a formal, properly attributed piece of content unless there is something in there they simply can’t miss. However, the days of two-page press releases filled with corporate jargon are over. Today, it’s best to be concise, interesting and relevant to your target audience. Write for humans; not search engines. Better yet – write for your audience. How do they speak? What do they care about?

In 2013, more than five billion searches were performed each day in Google. With that kind of volume, it’s important that your news stands out. As Woody Allen once said, “Showing up is 80% of life.” A wire service can help you syndicate your content (i.e., show up) across the Web, but adding multimedia and layering channels (social networks and email lists) increase your chance of being found in relevant searches.

Case in point – On June 1, Google announced its latest algorithm change, Panda 4. Forbes contributor John Hall crafted a great article on what it might mean for online content. Bottom line: Create authentic content that resonates with your audience and publish that content across multiple (social!) channels.

For more on effective press releases, check out these articles:


 

If you blog it, will they come?

According to HubSpot, companies that blog 15+ times per month get five times more traffic than companies that don’t blog at all. This is s startling statistic considering the number of organizations out there who launch a blog but fail to update with any real frequency. This statistic reveals the importance of keeping the content of your blog fresh and provides you with the financial data to make a good case for time and resources spent blogging. The more traffic to your website, the more product or service you will sell. It’s as simple as that. Check out what makes a blog so effective in the digital world and get eight tips for effective social blogging.

Here are some blogs that get it right:


Social + Investor Relations – Still slow to catch on, but headed in the right direction.

For the last four years, the Brunswick Group has conducted a survey on the use of digital media by the investment community. Each year the numbers show that more than half of investors polled use social for investment decisions. IROs are a bit more hesitant to put it out there. Some quick highlights from the 2014 Brunswick survey include:
 

  • 59% of investors read blogs for work or use the digital media to make decisions
  • 1 in 7 have made investment decisions based off a tweet, but that number is probably low and will grow
  • Nearly 3 in 4 investors believe that digital media will play a more prominent role in the future of investing
While the numbers clearly indicate that social plays a role in investment decisions, we’ve seen very few IR departments fully embrace it. It’s been more than a year now since the SEC ruled that social media is an approved channel to disseminate material news. Since that time, only a handful of companies, including Netflix, use their social channels to push out market-moving news. Expect this number to grow as IR professionals realize the benefits from a reach and cost perspective. 
 
On the fence? Test the waters by using tools that offer simultaneous posting to traditional media, online outlets, social channels and custom email lists. 



In The Know

We’ve compiled a list of our current favorite reads. From the need-to-know to the great-to-know, we think it’s important that you are IN THE KNOW. Here are our top five:

1.       The future of marketing is visual 
2.       Marketing roles are changing. 
3.       Is your PR strategy being underutilized?
4.       Social selling is not just a buzzword.
5.       How important are quotes in a press release?
 




Don’t Bash the Hashtag

It seems hashtags are everywhere these days. #Omnipresent and #overused, they’re flooding our social channels from Instagram to Pinterest. In fact, it was rumored in late March that Twitter was considering retiring the hashtag. #uhoh. While some individuals and organizations understand how to properly use a hashtag for maximum benefit, it’s glaringly apparent that many do not. #maybethereshouldbeahashtagcertification

For a quick course on how to use hashtags, check out the reads below. And remember that when used correctly, hashtags can amplify your message, allowing your audience to discover and engage in the conversation. #hashtagswork