With the ever-changing landscape of the World Wide Web, the way marketing and PR is driven, has changed. This has had its effect on the traditional press release, since news travels faster these days. One has always the opportunity to be online and share his thoughts via several mobile devices. The traditional press release is slowly dying, while the news release has never been more a life!
Speaking to your consumer directly has been one of the new characteristics, of a news release. One of the essentials of the news releases is that they are aligned with all online and offline communication of your company. The mainstream media and news releases need to go hand-in-hand, to create a stable corporate image. Anyone with access to the Internet and RSS readers will most likely read the news release. Compared to the traditional press release, people will find one easier. Where the traditional press releases were written for journalists only, these days anyone has access to a news release. This has had an impact on the Public Relations pro’s. The audience has changed completely, not only is one referring to a larger audience, you are as well interacting with them. All these individuals are blessed with an opinion about your company and your news release. This has changed the writing style completely. Another difference between a press release and a news release is that the last one contains more visuals, even a short YouTube clip.
News releases have become one of the most important marketing tools a company has, even though they always were from utmost importance. Since one speaks directly to its consumers, it has also the power to drive them towards one’s products and services at any given time and date. One of the most common mistakes is, that there is too much focus on the existing client, and only so little on the potential client. The type of snowball effect one wants to achieve is to get all forms of media interacting and engaging. Traditional media, Social Media platforms and blogs need to follow up upon each other, all media’s need to catch and cover the news.
The new rules:
- Always produce a news release, even when there is no big news happening.
- News releases are readable for anyone with Internet access; keep that in mind when writing.
- Optimize the news release with the right key phrases.
- Sharing is caring; make it easy for people to share your content.
- The links are still important, even though they do not contribute to SEO. It still helps to steer people to landing pages on your corporate website.
- Make sure your news release is easy to scan, people are always in a hurry and they would like to know what they are about to read.
- Add your social media tags to your news release.
- Send out your news releases via social media platforms like: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. This way more potential customers will be targeted.
- Try to interact with your (potential) customers is some kind of way, by for example including offers.
- To keep the target audience interested and loyal, it is clever to link the news release to content provided such as YouTube clips, company blogs, or even e-books that share the same content as the news release.
- Support your news release with enough visuals. They will improve the attractiveness of the release.
- Increase sales, traffic and ROI
Key words and phrases are more and more important, and even though they should not dominate ones writing style, it definitely changed it. One of the largest contributors to this phenomenon is Google. While in the beginning linking SEO has been an amazing opportunity for news releases, nowadays it is not so much. Google finds links in news releases unnatural and refuses to let it fall under link building strategy. News releases are a stronger marketing tool than advertisement since more trust is earned through informational content, if done well. As stated in the rules, you want to steer people to your landing pages. A good news release will therefore increase the traffic on the corporate website. Hence, traffic on your corporate website will eventually lead to more sales which will lead to better Return of Investments (ROI).
Due to the arrival of Internet and along Social Media, the rules of news releases have changed tremendously. The way marketing and PR is used in this landscape is nothing a like the traditional press releases. Along with changes, new rules must be applied. Instead of interacting with the CEO of a company, one must focus on the customers of the company. Hence, not only loyal customers, but also switchable and potential customers have to be taken into consideration. The audience is larger than ever, and interaction is a must. It is of utmost important that news releases support the corporate image and aligned with all other media’s used. It is important that the news release is supported with visual content such as pictures and YouTube clips. News releases are one of the most important marketing tools used nowadays, and are a fine tool to create a snowball effect. The news release needs to catchy and go viral via several media platforms, such as Social Media platforms, traditional media and blogs. To achieve more attention for one’s news release, key phrases are essential to get a higher SEO ranking. In order to attract more (potential) customers to one of the landing pages, links within the news release are imperative. When done and shared successfully, a larger audience will be reached which will eventually lead to more sales and better ROI.
Sources: Meerman Scott, D. (2013). The New Rules of Marketing & PR. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Perlut, A. (2011) Why the news release is worthless in today’s social media age. Skerik, S. (2013) The differences between social media news releases & traditional PR