Author Archives: Emily Nelson

Content We Love: Outstanding by Standing Out

ContentWeLove“Content We Love” is a weekly feature written by a team of our content specialists. We’re showcasing some of the great content distributed through our channels, and our content specialists are up for the task: they spend a lot of time with the press releases and other content our customers create, proof reading and formatting it, suggesting targeted distribution strategy and offering content optimization advice. In Content We Love, we’re going to shine the spotlight on the press releases and other messages that stood out to us, and we’ll tell you why. We hope you find the releases enjoyable and the insights gained from discussing them enlightening.

In a sea of press releases, it can be daunting to make a story stand out in the crowd.

To my delight, the VARIDESK release was standing out while standing up thanks to the image and bullet-points in the release.

The VARIDESK Single is now available at VARIDESK.com.  (PRNewsFoto/VARIDESK)

The VARIDESK Single is now available at VARIDESK.com. (PRNewsFoto/VARIDESK)

Art schools everywhere teach the importance of negative space. The empty space surrounding art naturally draws the eye to what is important. This very reason is why…

  • Adding bullets in your press releases delivers results.
  • A bullet is a punchline, a statement, a priority…
  • Which automatically attracts attention!

Press releases are full of stories, which inadvertently require words. These works are formulated into sentences and paragraphs and create blocks of text. However, it is human nature is skip over text until something interesting comes into view (AKA: “skimming”).

The release highlights the fundamental reasons for the new product by using bullets.

New products are a great reason to put out a press release but they are an even bigger reason to include a photo! In our visual world, we require images to pique and hold interest. Whether this is a new computer chip, a new CEO, or new stand-up desk, the target audience is looking to look.

Our research has found that including images increase a release’s visibility which means the eye-catching image on your release is literally catching more eyes.

Releases share the story and shouldn’t be lost in the shuffle so be sure to make the release stand out (and up!) by adding bullets and visual elements to your release.

A big thanks to VARIDESK for the outstanding release!

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/varidesk-stand-up-desks-launch-as-most-affordable-most-easy-to-use-way-to-transform-workspace-210244541.html

Author Emily Nelson is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her adventures on www.bellesandawhistle.wordpress.com or on twitter www.twitter.com/emilyannnelson.

Content We Love: Mt. Everest of Optimization

mnr memory“Content We Love” is a weekly feature written by a team of our content specialists. We’re showcasing some of the great content distributed through our channels, and our content specialists are up for the task: they spend a lot of time with the press releases and other content our customers create, proof reading and formatting it, suggesting targeted distribution strategy and offering SEO advice. In Content We Love, we’re going to shine the spotlight on the press releases and other messages that stood out to us, and we’ll tell you why. We hope you find the releases enjoyable and the insights gained from discussing them enlightening.

Writing a modern press release can seem like a climb over Mt. Everest. With search engines reading for a human element, modern releases need more than a who, what, when, where, why baseline. To reach the summit, you need optimization.

  • Optimization is a buzz word you may hear a lot. “Make sure your content is optimized!” Yet many are left wondering what exactly that means.

Optimization is forming content to be received in the best possible way. Transforming a story to an optimized press release is a feat; so when Fusion-io boldly announced the peak ascend of Mt. Everest using optimization, my interest was more than piqued.

Fighting Alzheimer’s at Altitude: Scale the Mt. Everest Memory Challenge

Headline: Headlines are paramount. With search engines indexing only the first 65 characters and this being the first introduction to your story, it needs to stand out. Not every release will be literally climbing Mt. Everest, but generating the same buzz and interest starts with the headline.  This headline is short, pithy, and combines the main objectives together: Alzheimer’s, Mt. Everest, and a Memory Challenge.

Social Media: This release featured a custom hashtag: #MemoryChallenge and included a feed to see tweets with the hashtag. This presents a steady stream of information that is constantly updating (because twitter is continuous) on the release itself. Not only does including this cross platforms and channels to share the story, but it guarantees the release stay relevant.

Links: The connective tissue of the web, search engine spiders  are so named because they crawl across web sites and content, following links and gauging relevance and popularity . Connecting related content to your press releases via  a link or two provides your readers with more information, and when the readers follow the links you share, it sends an important signal to the engines – this is good stuff, people like it and are seeking more information.   This release is a good example of smart linking: instead of a slew of links at the very bottom, this release features information throughout!

*Be wary of being “spammy.” Less is more when it comes to linking.  Try to limit links to just a few – one or two are ideal.

Multimedia: Whether it takes looking at a release as “branding” or sending a story, including visuals is imperative within our modern world. Plainly: audiences are looking for more than just text.

Setting the stage (or base camp) are visuals of the mountain and the details of the impressive trek. Instantly the viewer is drawn in because it is interesting. Images are inherently interesting!

Telling a story via press release can be dull or empowering. The power of optimization is at fingertips’ length and the difference can be truly breathtaking.

 Big thanks to Fusion-io for a mountain-top experience with a great release.

http://www.multivu.com/players/English/60918-fusion-io-climb-for-memory/

Author Emily Nelson is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her adventures on www.bellesandawhistle.wordpress.com or on twitter www.twitter.com/emilyannnelson.

Content We Love: Social Media Makes this Release Pop

“Content We Love” is a weekly feature written by a team of our content specialists. We’re showcasing some of the great content distributed through our channels, and our content specialists are up for the task: they spend a lot of time with the press releases and other content our customers create, proof reading and formatting it, suggesting targeted distribution strategy and offering SEO advice. In Content We Love, we’re going to shine the spotlight on the press releases and other messages that stood out to us, and we’ll tell you why. We hope you find the releases enjoyable and the insights gained from discussing them enlightening.

Kellogg's Pop-Tarts 'Gone Nutty!' Toaster Pastries, Now Available in Two Peanut Butter Flavor Varieties.  (PRNewsFoto/Kellogg Company)

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts ‘Gone Nutty!’ Toaster Pastries, Now Available in Two Peanut Butter Flavor Varieties. (PRNewsFoto/Kellogg Company)

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but when it comes to a modern press release, social media is reigning champion.

My eyes popped upon seeing Kellogg’s recent release announcing the new Pop-Tarts® lineup. The release jumped from a “traditional release” (just text) to a supercharged social media delight!

Social media can be daunting but is important when it comes to releasing news. Why, you ask? Search engines are showing social content higher and higher (as of May 16th,Yahoo! is showing tweets in the news feed itself), a whole untapped audience is awaiting on these social channels (more and more are joining daily), AND it expands the life of a release.

Imagine dropping colored dye into a glass of water. The moment the dye hits the water, the entire glass changes color. Impact. If you can drop more dye into more glasses of water, the dye goes even further and affects even more.

Sharing your story on social media is adding glasses of water!

Kellogg accomplished this by way of Click-To-Tweet.

Click to Tweet: Pop-Tarts have Gone Nutty! @poptarts411 brings fans the most requested flavor #CrazyGoodPB! Check it out http://on.fb.me/kdgHx

A) Clicktotweet.com is a website for custom tweet creation. Want others to tweet something specific? Create a click-to-tweet!  The release is so much more shareable because quite literally, it is a push of a button.

B) The tweet is solid – the handle (@poptarts411 is called a ‘handle’ as it is how to find the company/person/group on twitter) is within the tweet instead of at the beginning. This is important because tweets that start with a handle look like replies or a conversation in progress. While the hope is for replies and conversations, many simply skip over tweets that start with a handle. Optimum visibility is not starting with the @.

C) #Hashtags are the way to search via social media. It shares a thought/trend/news that connects others. The #Discover feature at the top of twitter finds the news you’re looking for. Whether it is a #workout or sharing your Pop-Tarts® #CrazyGoodPB experience, you can find conversations around the #.

The press release did not just stop there. Also included a link enabling readers to connect on Facebook, providing seamless connections on multiple platforms.

Having social-media friendly releases are not difficult to have but imperative in our social-savvy world. Start the conversations by putting your content on social media platforms. Share your news and let your story be heard everywhere it can.

Big thanks to the Kellogg Company for the release we’re nuts over!

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mornings-have-gone-nutty-with-new-pop-tarts-peanut-butter-flavors-207165211.html

Author Emily Nelson is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her adventures on www.bellesandawhistle.wordpress.com or on twitter www.twitter.com/emilyannnelson.

Content We Love: Backbone of Storytelling

ContentWeLove“Content We Love” is a weekly feature written by a team of our content specialists. We’re showcasing some of the great content distributed through our channels, and our content specialists are up for the task: they spend a lot of time with the press releases and other content our customers create, proof reading and formatting it, suggesting targeted distribution strategy and offering SEO advice. In Content We Love, we’re going to shine the spotlight on the press releases and other messages that stood out to us, and we’ll tell you why. We hope you find the releases enjoyable and the insights gained from discussing them enlightening.

mnr lead

The headline and the lead dive straight into the story.

#Storytelling

Growing up, the phrase “There are two sides to every story” echoed all around.
Being a writer and a content specialist, finding the story is the primordial base where magic exists.

To my delight, the impactful message about a state-of-the-art surgery from Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego leapt from the page because of how it was written, the visual elements, and the social media components.

Instead of being laden with corporate jargon and a “who/what/when/where/how” approach, the release made waves with great storytelling and more than just the kids took notice.

mnr photo galleryRight off the bat, the story leaps off the pages with video and images of the families. Paired with the technical (and readable) words of describing Early-Onset Scoliosis and how the magnetic rods operate, are videos and images that bring the experience to life.

  • On one side is the incredible feat of the surgery itself, clearly defined within the release. The words are compelling and easy to understand (acronyms explained, processes defined, etc). Yet on the other side is the human element of the doctors’ scope on their young patients and the family scope of their loved ones.

The images give a face to the message. This is not just an ordinary surgery; this is a surgery for Tommy and Anthony.

Images increase visibility on releases because humans are inherently intrigued by visuals. Including an image on your release is placing a bull’s eye target, which instantly attracts the line of vision.

Stop your audience in their tracks with powerful imagery.

And much like the magnetic rods, this release continues to grow.

The tale also took to social channels to spread the news.

Tweet: .@radychildrens performs groundbreaking growing rod surgeries for early-onset #scoliosis http://prn.to/10afja8

  • With search engines showing social results higher and higher, it is 100% in a company’s best interest to involve social sharing of news.

Much align to a story, there are two sides to social media: the share and the conversation. Social Media sites are buzzing with shared information (thoughts, ideas, articles, etc) to a collective group and these same sites are abuzz with conversations about the information.

In one swoop, the story transcends from viewership on news’ sites to the online social feeds. Not only is the message shared to a bigger audience, the conversation has started with just one tweet. From a tweet can come a retweet, a conversation, and a connection. Cool!

When penning a press release, reflect on the story it is telling. Add those great images and share the great news via social media. Share your story to the world!

Big thanks to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, and Ellipse Technologies for showcasing the backbone to storytelling!

http://www.multivu.com/mnr/61604-rady-children-s-hospital-san-diego-ellipse-magec-early-onset-scoliosis-eos

Author Emily Nelson is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her adventures on www.bellesandawhistle.wordpress.com or on twitter www.twitter.com/emilyannnelson.

Content We Love: 2013 January-March in Review

ContentWeLove“Content We Love” is a weekly feature written by a team of our content specialists. We’re showcasing some of the great content distributed through our channels, and our content specialists are up for the task: they spend a lot of time with the press releases and other content our customers create, proof reading and formatting it, suggesting targeted distribution strategy and offering SEO advice. In Content We Love, we’re going to shine the spotlight on the press releases and other messages that stood out to us, and we’ll tell you why. We hope you find the releases enjoyable and the insights gained from discussing them enlightening.

News. Content. Engagement.

The many reasons for sending press releases mirror the many types of releases we see here at PR Newswire. From January through March, we have seen a variety of compelling messages that captured our attention.

Social media campaigns, captivating headlines, riveting infographics, and compelling videos took center stage throughout the beginning of the year and the world took notice. These are some of the releases from January, February, and March of 2013 that we absolutely love.

 01. Pop Culture Pets: Veterinary Pet Insurance released the top names for our furry friends and the tale (or tail) leads to Twilight for inspiration.

 02. Riveting Headline: American DG Energy Inc. passed “go” in our books with this captivating headline. The energy agreement started its 15-year sentence at a county jail and served a conversation on social media channels to discuss it.

 03. Big Nominations: Kino Lorber’s release wins an award in our book for showcasing a video and pictures to accompany the big news of an Oscar nomination. From a beautiful film to a beautiful release, we applaud you!

04. Digital Love: Social media reigns supreme in recent survey from Match.com highlighting the technological advances to dating past and present. Will #tweetups and a digital date be next?

05. DIY Wedding: Michaels Stores released a budding romance for 2013 with the top DIY wedding ideas. While we were fawning over the ideas (and pinning the pictures), the video perfectly complimented the message. DIY puts the merry in merriment.

06. #GoAndSmellTheRoses: Around the world in minutes, Travelocity’s roaming gnome urges all to take the vacation of a lifetime. The new campaign features great visuals and an official hashtag. Inspired for travel, we all want to #GoAndSmellTheRoses

07. Free Food Madness: Shooting hoops isn’t the only thing on the menu for Outback Steakhouse. To celebrate March Madness, their bracket-tournament was for a free juicy appetizer.

Kudos — and thanks — to the organizations listed  for the pleasure of reading your phenomenal releases and allowing us to spotlight your stories.

Author Emily Nelson is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her adventures on www.bellesandawhistle.wordpress.com or on twitter www.twitter.com/emilyannnelson.

Content We Love: Using Visuals to Create a Seamless Path for Readers

CWL Banner

“Content We Love” is a weekly feature written by a team of our content
specialists. We’re showcasing some of the great content distributed through our channels, and our content specialists are up for the task: they spend a lot of
time with the press releases and other content our customers create, proof
reading and formatting it, suggesting targeted distribution strategy and
offering SEO advice. In Content We Love, we’re going to shine the spotlight on
the press releases and other messages that stood out to us, and we’ll tell you
why. We hope you find the releases enjoyable and the insights gained from
discussing them enlightening.

taters

A snapshot of the multimedia press release issued by the United States Potato Board. It seamlessly integrates multimedia with their own web site content, creating a widely-distributed portal back to the organization’s web site.  Click the image to see the full MNR.

Everyone loves food.

Cookbooks woo us with the colorful images of decadent cuisine. We salivate over each picture and build confidence that it would be easy to re-create the recipe. The moment of truth is finding yourself in the kitchen with smoke billowing from the oven and the realization you’re not Julia Child. Or maybe that is just me.

Visuals engage the reader.

Press releases, at their core, are to provide information. For the United States Potato Board, their Multimedia News Release* is geared towards not only sharing information and recipes, but dynamically engaging the reader with rich multimedia –in short, the visuals.

Ring in Spring by Using Unique Potato Types to Create Colorful, Nutrition Packed Dishes

There are many ways to showcase a message and tell a story with press releases. The captivating Multimedia News Release provides assets (photos, videos, PDFs, etc) to your release and therefore can increase your engagement with the reader.

Instantly the images of delicious meals fill the view but it doesn’t stop there. In tandem with the release are videos of different potato types, recipes, nutritional content, images, a connection to Facebook, and a logo combining the message with the assets, “Goodness Unearthed.”

We know imagery increases visibility, so what about engagement?

  • When crafting your story, having your audience take the next step and share/interact with your message is engagement.
Engagement is action.

Why is it important for a press release? To act, one must not only remember the content, but be inspired to act upon it.  For this release, the information takes a step further into a kitchen by way of recipes. The nutritional information, the pictures, and the videos all tie together with the message to create a truly engaging release.

  • Multimedia increases engagement. For your releases, remember the goodness of USPB and showcase your message using multimedia and social channels.

A seamless pathway for readers

The glossiest, most engaging multimedia doesn’t mean a thing if there’s no mechanism for capturing the interest your message has created.  In this example, the USPB integrated their own web site content into the MNR.  This tactic does two important things:

  • It offers readers seamless experience, creating clear path for them to follow, taking straight to web pages the USPB controls; and
  • Because the MNR is widely distributed, the USPB has effectively created and broadly circulated a portal leading directly to their web site across the web.

Big thanks to the United States Potato Board for a release full of goodness!

Want to explore new ways to tell your brand’s story?  We’d be happy to chat with you about creating a video or a designing multimedia distribution strategy that will increase discovery of your brand’s messages.  We’d love to hear your ideas, and help turn them into reality. Contact us for more information.

Author Emily Nelson is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow
her adventures on
www.bellesandawhistle.wordpress.com or on twitter www.twitter.com/emilyannnelson.

Content We Love: Elmer’s Glue Sticks to Visibility

ContentWeLove“Content We Love” is a weekly feature written by a team of our content specialists. We’re showcasing some of the great content distributed through our channels, and our content specialists are up for the task: they spend a lot of time with the press releases and other content our customers create, proof reading and formatting it, suggesting targeted distribution strategy and offering SEO advice. In Content We Love, we’re going to shine the spotlight on the press releases and other messages that stood out to us, and we’ll tell you why. We hope you find the releases enjoyable and the insights gained from discussing them enlightening.

Visibility and Press Releases.

In a world driven by SEO and multimedia, crafting a story to stand out can seem daunting.  In music, many songs rely on a “hook.” This is what captivates the audience in a reasonable and simple way to maintain attention.

When I saw Elmer’s release introducing a new glue made from natural ingredients, I found the hook. It was pure music to my eyes.

Between the crafty headline and the multiple images, this release provided multiple elements we’re positively stuck on.

elmers

Elmer’s® Introduces First School Glue Made from Natural Ingredients

Headline: With many search engines indexing only the first 65 characters and other sites displaying the headline alone, it is imperative to stick up for your story and stand out.

Not only is the headline within the guidelines, it fulfills the three-prong search rule.

Three-prong search rule?

  • Have three key words/phrases to summarize the entire release. This will make it searchable and thus increase your visibility.
  • These key words/phrases will appear throughout the release and in the headline.

(*fun hunt: perform a search on your own releases by finding the words you think are most important to tell/summarize your story. Can you find your news?)

Images: We live in a world of images. Visuals aid in sharing the news and giving a tangible context to the words.

Including images on your release not only make the story “pop” but also showcase the story through a different platform. Our visual world demands visuals and with Elmer’s introduction of a new product, the imagery sticks with you.

How does adding images increase your visibility?

Our eyes are glued to pictures.

The target audience will automatically check out the images if images are available. PR Newswire’s analytics found that adding just one image increases the visibility 1.8X.

Press releases take your news on an adventure. It travels across search engines, consumers, the media, and more. Remember to add a headline with a hook and imagery to captivate attention.

Thanks to Elmer’s(R) Products, Inc. for providing a release we’re glued to.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/elmers-introduces-first-school-glue-made-from-natural-ingredients-200905731.html

Author Emily Nelson is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her adventures on www.bellesandawhistle.wordpress.com or on twitter www.twitter.com/emilyannnelson.