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Wednesday / November 13.
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Five ways to reimagine the press release

SC Johnson press release

A well-crafted press release can increase consumer awareness, connect you with influencers, and help generate new business.

But the traditional press release is just that – a press release. Here are five ways to go beyond the traditional and create excitement about your brand’s latest news.

Showcase multimedia

The first-ever press release, from the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in 1906, was 300 words of plain text and published verbatim by The New York Times. More than a century later, companies have to exercise a lot more effort to get the attention of newspapers, not to mention the expanded audience of blogs, influencers, and consumers.

A simple way to accomplish this is to include multimedia elements – such as photos, infographics, videos or audio clips – in your press releases. Most companies have websites full of engaging images and video that appeal to online audiences. You should apply the same interesting content to your press releases to get more attention.

Example

Why it works

SC Johnson’s dramatic wildlife imagery is worthy of a top commercial film director. The quality and quantity of the multimedia included in this news release – six videos and six product photos – demonstrate to readers the company’s commitment to this endeavor. It shows SC Johnson cares about more than just promoting its brand, giving the message greater credibility. Including a variety of types of multimedia lets recipients decide how they wants to digest the story — whether they’d rather read, watch a video, browse images, or engage directly with the news via embedded social sharing buttons and “Learn More” links. Like the oceans for which SC Johnson is advocating, this is a living, breathing piece of content.

Drive blog traffic

The value of content marketing has been proven time and time again. To set themselves apart, companies act as publishers, providing unique and interesting content to their consumers. That’s why most companies have their own blog, a place where loyal customers can follow along for news and information. But what about gaining new followers? Syndicating content to a wider audience – with a clear call to action back to the brand’s blog – can do just that.

Example

Why it works

This release is practically a case study on how to reel in readers. It’s got a headline that “teases” the main takeaway, sub-headlines that provide more snippets that appeal to the audience, and an infographic that increases the release’s online discoverability. The larger purpose of the content is to promote Robert Half’s blog, where survey findings and helpful job-seeking best practices are posted. Most important, the blog also promotes the company’s expertise. This information could easily have been stuck on the company blog, appealing to only current followers, if it wasn’t also distributed to a wider audience of new readers as a press release. Robert Half has found a way to incorporate press release distribution into its larger content marketing strategy, finding potential new brand loyalists in the process.

Promote thought leadership 

Even without a traditional blog, most companies want to be viewed as a reliable source of expertise and information to consumers, whether through how-tos, market research, or making experts in the organization available for media interviews. Broadcasting that expertise helps make an organization searchable online and discoverable as a reliable outlet for consumers.

Example

Why it works

Concerns about tariffs and a possible downturn in the economy are prevalent in today’s news. Deloitte’s content analyzes those trends and distills findings into a press release that will be easily searchable for readers Googling those popular keywords. And for those who may not be experts in macroeconomics, the “CFO Signals” infographic illustrates those findings in a digestible format. The most surprising and relevant information appears at the top of the release, with additional context further down. This release can appeal to both casual readers and knowledgeable industry individuals. However, all audiences will see Deloitte as a trusted expert in this space.

Personalize the brand

Your brand’s product isn’t the only thing consumers are buying into — brand is an identity, so give it some personality to set it apart from competitors. One way to share that personality is an engaging, conversational news release that showcases the company’s unique values and perspective.

Example

Why it works

Subaru knows its target audience. That’s evident in the company’s advertising and content marketing approach across all platforms, including this press release. Subaru customers are adventurous but also family oriented and concerned with safety, and many are dog-lovers, so this release, about a campaign promoting the new Forester, appeals to exactly that target demographic. Subaru focuses its appeal with a variety of multimedia elements, including its logo, a short video, and an engaging product shot. In that imagery, the subset of readers most likely to buy a Forester can see a version of themselves. That personal appeal makes it more likely a viewer will turn into a customer.

Advocate for corporate social responsibility

In addition to wanting to feel a personal connection with their chosen brands, many consumers also want to feel good about the products they use. They want to know the company’s values align with their own. Your comms team can make sure consumers know your brand is environmentally and socially responsible by bringing those stories to light.

Example

Why it works

Part of Ben & Jerry’s brand identity is that the ice cream maker doesn’t take itself too seriously — but it does take sustainability seriously. Ben & Jerry’s was quick to see the tide turn against single-use plastic, and to take action. Because it knows its target consumers care about this too, it broadcast this news to a wide audience via a wire distribution. Then, to ensure its content didn’t get lost in the daily deluge of news, Ben & Jerry’s did a few things to make its release unique: interesting visuals, playful wording that appeals to its audience, and eye-catching bullet points that outline its next steps to accomplishing this goal. This news from Ben & Jerry’s is sure to stand out in a crowded field.

No matter what your brand’s story, employing new press release techniques such as videos and infographics, CTAs, playful headlines, and searchable keywords can help you discover new audiences and, in turn, new customers.

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