Anyone who’s ever written a press release knows it’s all about the one-two punch: You want people to read your release, and you want them to act on what they’ve read in some way. Whether the goal is to solicit media attendance at the grand-opening of your new corporate headquarters, announce the launch of a new line of kids’ organic clothing to generate online sales, or notify the public of contaminated deli meats, the intent of any press release is the same. Social media has become a driving force in the way we create and publish news, so making press releases more social media friendly is a smart communications tactic. It’s not difficult, and it opens the door for having your content seen, shared and acted upon by more people.
Archive for the ‘How-to’ Category
PR and marketing pros: Our eBook helps you ring in the New Year with new ways to engage your audiencesTuesday, January 3rd, 2012
There’s no doubt about it; 2012 is going to be a year of great conversations with your customers, employees, investors and the media. You’ll create fantastic content and share it with the people who matter most to your company. You’ll provide them with the news and information they need to make informed decisions about buying your products and services, and you’ll build strong, long-lasting relationships with the people who can make your brand better and your business more successful. And you’ll do it all by being engaged.
The traditional features release with its consumer-directed, ready-to-go content is ideal for exposing your messages to a diverse audience. But features releases can accomplish another goal. Because features stories now appear on media websites and search engines that reach millions of people online, with a little creativity and planning your features release can become a valuable tool for measuring the success of your PR and marketing activities. Not only can you reach new target audiences, but you can also drive them to your website where you’re able to track traffic patterns, garner new business leads and even generate revenue. In short, features releases can play an important role in gathering market intelligence and demonstrating measurable ROI.
Marketwire clients talk turkey, Tofurky, travel and trimmings with great Thanksgiving-focused press releasesThursday, November 24th, 2011
The four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend sees millions of Americans gather with friends and family over turkey dinner and an unprecedented number who follow their Thanksgiving feast with an early-morning trip to the mall for some bare-knuckled Black Friday shopping. The four days of the holiday weekend are some of the busiest and most profitable in the U.S. travel and retail sectors: About 42.5 million people are expected to travel by car or plane for Thanksgiving, according to travel tracker AAA, and an estimated 152 million people are expected to shop over Black Friday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. If you think Thanksgiving is just about turkey, you are mistaken. Take a look at a few of our clients’ Thanksgiving-focused press releases and see how they are gearing their content toward travellers, shoppers and chefs.
Because bloggers are often considered the journalists of the Internet, it’s no wonder many professional communicators are turning to them to pitch ideas, events or products. Depending on the blogger, he or she can leave either a positive or a negative impression about your pitch to his or her many faithful subscribers. Let’s not forget that influential bloggers also receive many pitches – sometimes up to 100 a day – from organizations promoting their products, services or the organizations themselves. So how do you successfully pitch a blogger?
You’re on the hunt for a birthday present for your BFF and you’ve come up with a great idea: a year’s supply of her favorite… Kona coffee. So you plug “Kona coffee” into Google and generate 1,800,000 results. After a few false starts you realize you really want to give her “100% pure organic Kona coffee” – and only a five-pound assortment once you realize its high cost. Each time you start a new search, the words you enter become more refined. Then you begin looking for the best deal. In your hunt you’ve landed on, scanned and quickly exited 24 websites before you finally settle on the one through which you place your order.
I’m a huge fan of online networking. When Marketwire introduced the Social Media 2.0 press release in 2008, I was encouraged by my colleagues and managers to start experimenting with social media as a way to communicate with my clients, prospects and industry peers. It worked. Not only have I kept up with my social networking, but I’ve made some incredible connections. With what I’ve learned, I’ve also become a resource for others who are looking for help with their online networking efforts. Here are my ten rules for online networking:
We’ve all heard the mantra “content is king” – a quote originating from an article Bill Gates wrote in 1996 in which he stressed that content sites, not ecommerce sites, would generate the bulk of income in the years ahead. In fact, content has become as essential to a company’s success as its products and service. But now, content – text, images, video/flash, audio – can simply overwhelm. “Everyone” is publishing content and it is “everywhere,” ranging from blog posts to white papers to videos posted on YouTube. With all this noise, the content we post on our websites may not be attracting our target audiences and achieving expected results. So how do we open the door to greater content-publishing and audience-engagement success? Like anything else, the devil’s in the details.
In today’s digital landscape where content, SEO and social media collide, your headline is more important than ever. Whether it’s at the top of your blog post, press release or online article, the key to grabbing attention and getting your message across is to start with a captivating headline. You not only want your news to be read, you want it to be optimized for search and easy to share. When you write your headline, you need to consider writing to accommodate search engines, social networks and human readers alike. Lofty goals for a dozen words, indeed. Here are a few quick tips to help you with your headlines:
A traditional press release is still relevant in today’s evolving PR landscape. But more and more companies are complementing their traditional releases with social media press releases (and even replacing them) because a social media press release is a vehicle to tell a fuller, richer story by offering multimedia assets and a way for your audiences to easily share your content through their social networks. When you take the time to properly plan your social media release, you increase your chances for getting your content read and shared with greater frequency.
Anyone who has worked in the field of marketing for more than five years knows it hasn’t always been quite this crazy. And I don’t mean just because of the dramatic changes brought forth by social media and the relentless stream of new tools and technologies. What I’m talking about is the non-stop pursuit to demonstrate ROI in a department not traditionally considered a revenue center. Marketing departments – along with other functional areas of organizations – have always had to demonstrate their value. But today’s C-suite – regardless of industry, market or brand – wants to see marketing’s contribution to increased sales or cost savings or customer retention. We now need to draw the connection between leads and dollars. But what do we do if we’re primarily responsible for generating online content instead of running a lead-gen or DM program? How do we quantify our results? Here’s a few tips on how to demonstrate our contribution to the bottom line.
Perhaps the best examples of real-time content are Twitter and Facebook. Think of it: every tweet, retweet and post is content that you are authoring and sharing in real time. You share an opinion or post a question to your friends and followers and often, you’ve got a response even before you can hit “refresh.” These real-time conversations produce real-time content. But in and of itself, the conversations on Twitter and many other social networks are not innately SEO-friendly.
Crisis management in the face of social media requires a masterful and agile skillset. Today’s crises (and their responses) play out in real-time, as do breaking news and opinion about the situation at hand. Add to that the viral nature of social networks and the ability for a story to get around the world in mere minutes, and you’ve got a virtual powder keg of bad publicity threatening to explode in the hands of the organization at the center of the crisis. Gone are the days when you can bury a story or get by with a simple “no comment.” How your company reacts (or doesn’t) to a bad situation can sometimes make or break its future.
More and more companies, both B2B and B2C, are integrating social media into their overall marketing mix because they have realized the incredible opportunities that exist across the social web. The ability for real-time customer service, lead generation, brand and reputation management, sales opportunities…the list goes on. Let’s go over a few reasons why your business should be using social media.
Marketing and PR professionals continue – in droves – to realize the business value of social media within an organization. They know it can foster collaboration among internal teams, enable real-time customer service, and create communities of fans and advocates who can help to shape a company’s products, services and brands. Getting the C-suite to open the company doors to social media, however, can be tricky. Management often cites concerns over privacy, security, brand erosion, and employee training, and they remain unwilling to invest in or allocate the proper resources (both human and financial) to allow social media to contribute to the company’s success and bottom line.
Join us for a Brian Solis/Sysomos webinar, “Impacting Business with Social Media,” Thursday, August 18Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
Most marketers know that social media must be part of their business strategy. Unfortunately, they also know that convincing executive teams and getting company-wide buy-in of a social media strategy (and one with an actual budget) is no easy feat. More and more marketers, however, are finding success by building a case for social media within their organization by putting concrete action plans and real metrics in front of their C-suites, and attributing true ROI to their efforts. These are the marketing champions who have proven that they can use social media to connect with customers and truly impact their business, brand, and bottom line. Want to become a champion? Join us for “Impacting Business with Social Media,” a free webinar hosted by Brian Solis.
In case you missed it, yesterday marked episode No. 3 of Marketwire and HubSpot’s free 6-part webinar series, “How to Supercharge Your PR Program with Social Media,” hosted by the always-engaging and thought-provoking Rebecca Lieb, globally recognized expert on digital media and content strategy.
For anyone involved in public relations, marketing or digital communications, “content” has become more than just collateral and web pages; it’s become a strategy in and of itself. But what kind of content should we create, how much and on what channels do we publish it? How can we best ensure it finds and resonates with the audiences that matter to us, and doesn’t just fall flat or get lost in cyberspace? Like any other corporate strategy, content creation requires thoughtful planning and execution. (more…)
Anyone who has recently traveled internationally will no doubt have noticed a well-placed McDonald’s restaurant, no matter the country. Iconic US brands are expanding rapidly around the world, some experiencing more success abroad than at home. To ensure the success of these expansion efforts, US-based marketing and PR teams need to work with their local counterparts as much as possible to tap into their expertise, knowledge and familiarity with that particular environment.
On a rainy Tuesday in April, I had the rare pleasure of a guided tour through the Manhattan office of Bloomberg, one of the largest organizations in the world that provides business and financial news, data and analytics. In spite of the calming river carp swimming throughout the office walls, I haven’t seen any organization more obsessed with speed since my trip to NASCAR’s Charlotte Speedway. (more…)