Since the press release was born in 1906, its purpose hasn’t changed–to spread important news. Today, PR pros know that journalists at top publications receive hundreds of press releases a day, many of which get deleted without ever being read. Although press releases are still a tried-and-true PR strategy that makes sense in specific situations, we have four excellent alternatives to cranking out a press release:
Start with a simple pitch
A Greentarget study in 2014 found that journalists spend less than one minute reading press releases. So, before you even begin crafting a pitch, you need to do your due diligence and dive into your media list. Ask yourself, “Who’s going to care about what I have to say?” Once you’ve answered this question, you’re ready to craft targeted pitches to the right publications that’ll put your company where it needs to be–in the spotlight. Sixty-eight percent of journalists in the study also wanted the four W’s–who, where, why and when. Fifty-three percent of journalists also preferred a short, relevant pitch, even as brief as a bullet point format. So, why not give them what they want?
Use social media to tell your story
In a digital world, news spreads in real time. You can use this to your advantage–instead of waiting for Associated Press to pick up your story, why not promote it on social media? Releasing timely, relevant content keeps your brand in your prospects’ and followers’ minds. A healthy mix of paid and earned social posts can get you the traction you need. Researching the best days/times to post on each channel, frequency and integrating popular themes and hashtags will reach new audiences.
Utilize your blog strategically
With popular sites like WordPress lowering the barrier to entry, it seems like everyone and their mother is a blogger these days. But remember, not every blog is created equal. Although 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound priority, too many organizations post content just for the sake of posting it. Blogs are at the top of your marketing funnel because they are a great tool for disseminating news and increasing awareness. Maybe you don’t get generated a lead immediately when you release a press release-formatted blog, but brand awareness and spreading company news is an incredibly valuable asset in your company’s content PR strategy and can lead to opportunities and business in the future.
Add videos while you’re at it
There are so many possibilities with incorporating videos into our PR strategies that many organizations haven’t even scratched the surface yet. But a statistic like, “after watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online,” it’s understandable that you immediately want to jump on the bandwagon. And you should–videos are all the rage right now. People watch 500 million hours of video on YouTube each day and companies are keenly aware of this, 87% use video in their content strategy. The best part about videos is that if you make them a compatible format (i.e., an mp4), they can go on all of your social media channels. For example, let’s say you had a more extended ad on YouTube. You can trim the video on Instagram into different clips and turn it into a promo series that’ll keep your audience engaged for weeks. This is just the tip of the iceberg–the opportunities are endless.
Until next time!
Passionate about all things communications, Jolie found her dream job as a copywriter with Critical Mention, where she’s continuing her passion for writing and editing. With a background working for high-profile clients in the financial, hospitality and technology industries, she’s excited to bring her experience to Critical Mention. When she’s not writing you can find her at music festivals, hiking or snowboarding.