Author Archives: Shannon Ramlochan

5 PR Tactics for Internal Communications

Internal Collaboration
With the proliferation of social media channels, employees have become 24/7 brand ambassadors for their companies and the lines between internal and external communications are continuously blurring. Therefore, employers have as much of a responsibility to engage and inspire their internal staff as they do with external audiences.

The tactics discussed at Business Development Institute’s Internal Communications and Collaboration Leadership Forum closely mirrored the new school PR and marketing tactics that organizations are employing to drive action from their consumers. After all, employees are simultaneously consuming the information they produce and should therefore believe in the same brand promises they make to the public. The following tactics illustrate how you can improve your employee experience using similar tactics used to engage external audiences

Create useful content

Treat the initiatives happening around your company as important breaking news. Editorial content such as blog posts and articles help amplify positive growth around the company and keep teams across the organization informed about the overall mission and business strategy.

Senior leaders as chief communicators

According to a survey conducted by Brilliant Ink, 80% of employees feel more engaged when they receive inspiring communications from senior leaders. Quotes from executive leadership establish trust and humanizes the brand from both an employee and consumer standpoint.

Utilize multimedia 

Video messages and teleconferencing are other ways to humanize the organization by bringing communications to a personal level and are far more engaging than a text only email. Below is a video used by AIG that motivated their employees to “bring on tomorrow.”

Use internal social media with purpose

The social channels used by consumers such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn meet different needs of their audiences, and enterprise social channels are no different. Your internal communication channels need a thoughtful strategy behind them to keep people engaged and understand the value of communicating on that space. Ultimately it is best to minimize the number of places that people have to go for communications.

Communicate the value or benefit of an employee’s labor

PR and marketing professionals are ultimately trying to communicate why their product or service is important to consumers. Employees need to feel the same sense of importance when it comes to their work. Research by AIG reports that 70% or more of strategic and change programs fail without effective manager communications. Connecting the dots between daily work and the overall company strategy is vital to maintaining productivity and helping an employee understand where they fit in.

It is widely understood that there is a direct and positive relationship between employee engagement and overall company growth; organizations that invest in creating a more unified work environment experience more productivity and financial growth than those that do not. Plan your internal communications strategies with the same attention and care as you do externally in order to drive inspiration and action from employees.

ShannonShannon Ramlochan is the Content Marketing Coordinator at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter @sramloch.

Content We Love: Amplifying Owned Content

ContentWeLove

Click here to download to free ebook "Read It, Watch It, or Tweet It – How Americans Read and Share News"

Click here to download to free ebook “Read It, Watch It, or Tweet It – How Americans Read and Share News”

Today’s buying journey is heavily dependent on discoverability, peer or influencer recommendations, and trust. Attempting to promote the content you’ve worked hard to create by relying solely on owned channels such as your company website or social media accounts can prevent those messages from being discovered beyond the audiences you’ve already acquired.

Think about the people who need your help but are unaware that you are the solution to their problem — how will they find you? Having your message resurface on other trusted industry websites via search engines or mentioned by the media (either in an article, or a tweet) can make all the difference between a gain and loss of audience, prospects and ultimately ROI. Therefore, if your brand has invested resources into creating content, putting some muscle behind the promotion of those messages is imperative.

Today’s featured content from Inkhouse is near and dear to our hearts, in terms of both subject and format.  The firm used a press release titled, “In TV We (Still) Trust: 73 Percent of Americans Cite Television as Their Preferred and Most Trusted News Source – Topping Online, Print and Social Media” to share the findings of a survey they conducted with GMI Research on Americans’ news consumption habits.

This subject remains a hot button issue as the digital age continues to evolve traditional news formats and redefine what is newsworthy, and Inkhouse capitalised fully on the opportunity to make this information discoverable to the journalists, bloggers and other influentials interested in the topic, using creative content distribution  to amplify owned content.

INKHOUSE INFOGRAPHICAccording to the survey, Americans are consuming news in a variety of different ways but rely on certain channels more than others. Press releases are cited as the most trusted source of company generated news, more than blog posts or articles by the CEO and advertisements.

Audiences are particularly wary of being fed corporate propaganda, but press releases – which are on-record statements and disclosures –  are viewed as credible sources of news and information by public audiences.

Obviously, we’re interested in the subject matter and love the fact that press releases were found to be viewed so favorably by the public.  Content aside, however, the message shines for a number of other reasons:

  • An intriguing headline that includes a stat commands the reader’s attention and is almost perfectly tweet-able;
  • An infographic is included as a visual asset to fuel engagement and social sharing.  It beautifully illustrates the main findings of the survey in a concise format to help the reader process this information quickly;
  • A quote from Beth Monaghan, co-founder and principal of InkHouse promotes the company’s thought leadership and brings a human element to the brand message;
  • Tight bullet points neatly summarize other key findings from the survey for the readers who are quickly scanning the page for information most pertinent to them
  • Finally, a call-to-action that drives traffic back to the company website,  generating ROI.

This press release is a brilliant example of utilizing distribution in a creative way that reflects the convergence of marketing and PR. Kudos to Inkhouse on an A+ press release!

ShannonAuthor Shannon Ramlochan is PR Newswire’s Content Marketing Coordinator. Follow her on Twitter @sramloch.

 

Content We Love: News Writing in a News Release

ContentWeLove

One of my fondest childhood memories is visiting the Museum of Natural History and looking up in awe at the massive replicas of dinosaur skeletons. Tyrannosaurus Rex was always my favorite. To me, its enormous jaws and ferociousness as depicted in popular culture were symbols of its strength and supremacy above all other beings. After reading the press release “Perot Museum Paleontologists Discover Pygmy Tyrannosaur That Roamed Ancient Arctic Lands of Alaska,” those feelings of wonder and amazement came rushing back to me.

Paleontologists from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas have discovered a new genus and species of a tyrannosaur that once roamed the ancient Arctic lands of Northern Alaska.  Formally named Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, the animal is a pygmy tyrannosaur, whose first name is in honor of the Inupiat people whose traditional territory includes the land where these bones were found.  The second name is in honor of Dallas entrepreneur and philanthropist Forrest Hoglund, whose extraordinary leadership helped raise $185 million to build the new Perot Museum, which opened in late 2012.  ILLUSTRATION BY KAREN CARR.  (PRNewsFoto/Perot Museum of Nature and Science)

Paleontologists from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas have discovered a new genus and species of a tyrannosaur that once roamed the ancient Arctic lands of Northern Alaska. ILLUSTRATION BY KAREN CARR. (PRNewsFoto/Perot Museum of Nature and Science)

This announcement is not just a press release, it’s a story, and utilizing a distribution network to share that story places it in front of hundreds or even thousands of people who can emotionally connect with it.

Though one of the press release tactics discussed on Beyond PR highlights the efficiency of short form press releases, The Perot Museum of Science and Nature uses a longer format to tell a complete story enhanced by captivating illustrations. Their smart integration of compelling news writing with the clout of news release distribution  makes this message the subject of this week’s Content We Love.

PR pros should make note of the following characteristics of this release:

  • Visuals:  Including an artist’s rendering of what the new discovery might have looked like as a visual asset allows this story to truly resonate with audiences.
  • Long-form content makes it easy for journalists to cover this story because it’s essentially already written for them. The press release includes the origins of the name Nanuqsaurus hoglundi as well as how the discovery was made. The story earned media pick up from outlets including Fox News and NBC News, both of which republished the image from the press release on their websites.
  • Providing associated content:  The announcement promotes a scientific paper right under the lead paragraph that most people outside of the profession would not have access to. Plugging the manuscript toward the top of the release and a restrained use of links establishes a focused call-to-action for readers.
  • Promoting the content. Finally, sharing this message on a platform that is well established as a source for reliable news information also locks down the museum’s own credibility as scientific leaders and builds overall visibility.

This press release from the Perot Museum of Science and Nature shows that if you want to earn attention from news media, you can use a press release to write it yourself and share a story that readers will remember.  Congrats on a job well done!

Gravatar

Author Shannon Ramlochan is the Content Marketing Coordinator at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter @sramloch

Content We Love: GoBankingRates.com Goes Off Without a Pitch

ContentWeLove

Click to view the entire press release from GoBankingRates.com

Click to view the entire press release from GoBankingRates.com

The digital age has enabled content creators to become content distributors in their own right by engaging on social platforms. But in the mix of today’s owned, earned, and paid media environment, social channels can be limiting in their ability to reach beyond their followers and garner attention from new audiences. Over the holidays, GoBankingRates.com issued a press release to share the findings of a study they conducted on leading retailers titled “Stores with the Best and Worst Return Policies.” The release- which the company told us they did not pitch in advance- generated excellent media coverage on major outlets such as Good Morning America and ABC News.

Click to view the video of GoBankingRates.com featured on Good Morning America

Click to view the video of GoBankingRates.com featured on Good Morning America

The brand used a PR-savvy combination of engaging, informative content with the power of press releases to raise awareness of their message and build credibility, and the results they experienced are a testament to the fact that press releases are still highly regarded sources of information for both journalists and consumers.  For these reasons, GoBankingRates.com’s story is the subject of this week’s Content We Love.

In addition to a strong story and excellent timing, several notable elements of this press release made it optimal for earning media coverage:

  • Visual assets stop the eye and grab the reader’s attention against a sea of text. Most press releases don’t contain a visual element, which allows this company to differentiate their message against competitors and increase visibility.
  • The copy is stripped of corporate jargon and supplies readers with just the facts. In just 46 characters, the direct and to-the-point headline provides readers with a complete context of what the story is about and encourages them to read on and share on social channels.
  • Bullet points break down the results in an easily digestible format.
  • A call to action links to a blog post that drives traffic back to the company website.
Assets from the GoBankingRates.com press release are republished in a Fox News article

Assets from the GoBankingRates.com press release are republished in a Fox News article

GoBankingRates.com shared a story so valuable to their audience that all it needed was distribution to propel it forward. As evidenced by their impressive media coverage, even though distribution comes in a variety of formats today, journalists still look to press releases as a source of trustworthy information and creative story ideas. But it’s not about what a single platform can do for your message; it’s about how integrating distribution in all its forms to promote truly interesting content can drive an ongoing conversation and maximizes visibility for your brand. The exposure that GoBankingRates.com generated through original media coverage firmly positioned the company as a thought-leader in personal finance. Kudos to GoBankingRates.com on a job well done!

GravatarAuthor Shannon Ramlochan is the Content Marketing Coordinator at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter @sramloch

4 Ways Healthcare Communicators Can Educate and Connect with Patients

Featured panelists during the Q&A session at the Future of Healthcare Communications Summit

Featured panelists during the Q&A session at the Future of Healthcare Communications Summit

According to Manhattan Research’s President, Meredith Ressi, 65% of online consumers say that the internet is critical for obtaining medical information. Now that the Affordable Care Act has taken effect, the healthcare market is experiencing an influx of diverse consumers who are increasingly relying on digital and mobile technology to educate themselves. It is up to healthcare communicators then, to evolve their tactics in order to help patients navigate the ACA’s complex policies. Industry thought-leaders featured at the Future of Healthcare Communications Summit, co-presented by Business Development Institute and PR Newswire, offered their perspective on how healthcare communicators can utilize digital platforms to inform and motivate patients to better manage their well-being.

Engage audiences with multimedia to simplify complex ideas

PR Newswire’s Global Director of Emerging Media, Michael Pranikoff, notes that 85% of brands publish content, but only 35% believe they are doing so effectively. The likely issue is that complicated messages are driving audiences away and leading them straight to competitors.  Instead, multimedia content such as videos allow complex ideas to be simplified in a concise format that grabs audience attention and amplifies visibility. Engagement on social channels such as Youtube, Instagram, and Pintrest is primarily driven by images, so communicators who do not employ visual tactics are squandering additional opportunities for their message to be seen.

Furthermore, consumers have become more aware of overt marketing tactics and are not interested in brazen sales pitches. Videos focus more on storytelling than on the brand, which helps build a mutual trust. As Pranikoff says, “If you are not providing visuals, you are not taking control of your messages.”

Communicate clinical innovations through earned media

Patients with special conditions need to know where they can turn to for help. Johns Hopkins Medicine shares their success stories involving biomedical discoveries, patient survival, and highly qualified physicians to establish the organizations credibility as a leader in the health community. According to Dalal Haldeman, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Johns Hopkins Medicine, the brand was recognized by 80.2% of participants in a national survey against the most recognizable consumer brands such as McDonald’s, Google, and Coca-Cola. Brand recognition is immensely important to the patients who are putting their lives into the hands of healthcare providers, and earned media is one of the best ways to build that trust.

Be aware of language and cultural considerations before utilizing a specific communications tool

Consumers are making their own decisions on treatment providers, but different audiences are using different channels to shop for their plans. For example, Makovsky’s Executive Vice President, Gil Bashe, reports that African Americans are most likely to use smartphones to access healthcare information more than any other group. Understanding the demographic usage behind each communication tool can help segment the market and target the messages that are most appropriate for those audiences.

Top support and solutions that online consumers want from pharma

Top support and solutions that online consumers want from pharma

Listen to social conversations and use this information to inform your health programs

The rise of consumerism has created an environment focused on collaboration and engagement in the healthcare industry. A study by Manhattan Research finds that 59% of online consumers are interested in patient support to learn more about their conditions and how to cope. Social conversations provide a context for the types of information that patients are looking for. Using data analysis, healthcare providers can develop more sophisticated programs to connect patients with their communities.

The statutes of the Affordable Care Act are still largely misunderstood by the public, giving healthcare communicators an important opportunity to fill the information gap. But in order to do so effectively, healthcare communicators need to embrace the new age of interaction that is less product-focused and more patient-focused. Digital and mobile technology makes it possible to speak directly to patients in an environment they feel most comfortable in. By utilizing visuals, customizing messages, and listening to social conversations, healthcare communicators can better prepare the public to take increased responsibility for their own health management.

Content We Love: A Press Release That’s Not So Airheaded

ContentWeLove

Click to view the entire multimedia news release

Click to view the entire multimedia news release

While fame-seeking is hardly a new phenomenon, social media has enabled its users to imitate feelings of stardom by seeing their own faces on a screen and gaining friends, followers, likes, or retweets for sharing their personal stories. Celebrities like Justin Bieber who transcended the digital barrier after gaining popularity on YouTube, have given hope to aspiring stars that they too have a chance in the spotlight.

Social Media Pew

via Pew Research Journalism Project

Airheads Candy is now capitalizing on this peculiar phenomenon by promoting their social media video contest which offers fans a chance to be featured in their new ad campaign. Pew research shows that channels like YouTube and Twitter are the most popular among younger age groups, which fully aligns with the audience that Airheads hopes to capture. The multimedia press release titled, “#Airheadsneeded: Brand Searches for Airheaded Commercial Star” employs a mix of humorous storytelling, clever social elements, and colorful imagery to earn a spot as this week’s Content We Love.

Multimedia components are indispensable to a press release if you intend to raise awareness amongst the greatest audience possible. By including both videos and photos, Airheads reaches audiences on channels that text alone cannot such as YouTube, Vine, and Instagram, which are purely driven by visual content. Additionally, the brand is highlighting all video contest submissions in a dedicated Tumblr page that are truly hilarious, memorable, and more importantly, shareable.

The headline commands attention from readers with an interesting news hook in fewer than 140 characters and includes a hashtag, with a subhead providing more context. Who hasn’t daydreamed at least once about what it would feel like to be famous? Airheads is highly aware of whom they are targeting and encouraging social interaction, which heavily influences the results we see on search engines.

A specific call to action after the lead paragraph drives readers to your objective regardless of whether they read the entire release. Considering this is a social media contest, Airheads wisely includes a click-to-tweet button in their call-to-action to further promote the campaign.

Quotes from a brand leader communicate a new opportunity that the audience can gain. In this case, the quote from Associate Brand Manager, Jen Redmond is telling readers that if you’re already creating funny videos on your own time every day, why not get famous for it?

An interesting and engaging story that takes the focus off the brand is key to persuading the audience to take your desired action. Despite being the first major advertising campaign that Airheads has ever launched, the brand draws attention away from itself and puts the spotlight on sweet-toothed fans instead.

Even though Airheads have been a longtime staple in candy aisles across America, this press release re-establishes the brand’s cultural relevancy to a new generation of candy-loving, digital-savvy consumers and is bound to generate greater awareness from employing a few simple writing tactics. Kudos to Airheads on a crafting a very smart press release!

Nowadays it seems like everyone is taking selfies, causing a major shift in content creation over the last several years. How can your brand compete and stand out to get your message seen?

Register now to join Michael Pranikoff at PR Newswire’s Lunch and Learn series “How to Keep Your Content Relevant in the Age of the Selfie” in Atlanta, GA on March 4th: prn.to/ATLSelfie 

Content We Love: Anticipating Audience Needs

ContentWeLove

While the country struggles to keep warm during this year’s brutal winter, retail stores have been left suffering out in the cold. Reports continue to surface that the retail sector is experiencing steep declines in sales partially due to the harsh weather conditions. Not surprisingly, a press release titled “RetailNext Releases 2013 Full Holiday Retail Performance Data” is among the top three most emailed releases on the PR Newswire website. Even though this announcement was made weeks ago on January 10th, the importance of this story during difficult economic times continues to drive visibility for RetailNext, and the brand deftly positioned itself as a source of analytics and insight relating to brick-and-mortar retail.   For these reasons, RetailNext’s story is the subject of this week’s Content We Love.

RetailNext

Click the image to view the full press release

RETAILNEXT HOLIDAY SHOPPING 2013Visually stimulating infographic sparks engagement

The fact that this release is one of PR Newswire’s most emailed stories signifies that readers are actively engaged with this content. The featured infographic which offers a closer look at RetailNext’s holiday shopping insights adds a shareable component to the story that keeps readers interested.

Longer form press releases are journalism enablement

In today’s 140 character limit world, much of the conversation regarding the length of great content says to keep it short and sweet. However, there is a lot to be said about the value of a longer form press release. Journalists who are limited in time and resources look to press releases as a source of inspiration for interesting stories. In this case, the article is essentially already written, which drives media coverage for RetailNext.

Bullet points and bold text anticipate audience interests  

RetailNext uses bold text to highlight the pivotal holiday shopping periods of the year and breaks down performance data even further with bullet points. This format allows readers who are scanning the page to quickly grab the information that is most pertinent to them.

This press release is a great example of tailoring content to meet the audience needs while driving awareness of brand messages. Kudos to the RetailNext PR team on a job well done!

Content We Love: CVS Caremark Stomps Out Cigarettes & Sparks a National Conversation

Click to view the entire multimedia news release

Click to view the entire multimedia news release

CVS Caremark recently dominated headlines when they announced a stunning decision to ban the sale of cigarettes in their stores. The bold move sparked a nationwide discussion on the role of pharmacies in providing healthcare to their customers and set a new standard for the industry. Now let’s be honest, a large corporation forgoing $2 billion dollars in profit for the sake of public health was bound to generate headlines. But what made this announcement so exceptional was CVS Caremark’s use of multimedia to frame their key messages, fuel social discussion, and deliver everything that journalists needed to cover the story.

In a Forbes.com article entitled, CVS Brilliantly Encouraged People to Share Its Tobacco Story, author Carmine Gallo says, “Brands that successfully get their message across make it easy for people to share the story across social media platforms.”  For these reasons and more, CVS Caremark’s news release is the subject of this week’s Content We Love.

Rich media fuels social buzz & message amplification

A snapshot of CVS trending on Twitter

A snapshot of CVS as the top trending topic on Twitter

The multimedia news release was a cornerstone of the campaign that enabled CVS Caremark to provide media, bloggers and the public with a variety of rich visuals including hi-res videos of CEO Larry Merlo’s official statement, b-roll footage of CVS stores, photos of the company’s corporate leaders, and infographics with the stats to support their decision.

“Blogs need pictures. People on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram want pictures, too.” Gallo stated in his article. “CVS provided this multimedia news release with videos clips and downloadable, high-resolution infographics and photographs to support the stories.”

These additional elements promptly addressed questions from the public head-on, allowing journalists the freedom to thoroughly develop every angle of this story and audiences to share the news on social channels with ease.

Distribution of content drives media coverage 

Media covering the story made direct use of the multimedia elements CVS Caremark supplied in their press release. The included B-roll footage was featured in breaking news stories by top broadcast media outlets such as CNN

and CBS News. The video statement from the CEO was directly embedded or redisplayed in online stories from high-traffic outlets like the New York Daily News and Bloomberg BusinessWeek. A simple Google search shows that these are just a few out of the hundreds of media outlets to pick up this story.

By distributing visual assets, CVS benefitted from:

  • Quality earned media
  • High engagement on social media channels
  • Top ranking on search engines

One of the most critical aspects of a brand attempting to establish credibility with the public is acknowledgement from fellow thought-leaders within the industry. CVS Caremark’s announcement drew applause from health advocate organizations like the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, and the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association, who each released statements to thank the company for their groundbreaking decision.  But perhaps the highest honor a brand can receive is praise from both the President and First Lady. President Barack Obama released a statement saying that the new policy “will have a profoundly positive impact on the health of our country,” and First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted her support. With such a warm reception by the public, CVS was able to successfully reposition the brand as a trustworthy authority in healthcare.

According to Gallo, “Communication doesn’t have to be complicated. People are talking about CVS because the brand made it easy for them to do so.” CVS Caremark “put on a case study of how to get news spread”  and demonstrated  a thorough understanding of today’s new media environment- one that is multifaceted and driven by compelling stories told through rich visuals. Congratulations to CVS Caremark on the success of their outstanding campaign.

Author Shannon Ramlochan is the Content Marketing Coordinator at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter @sramloch

7 Ways to Leverage the Power of Social Influencers

Influencer Marketing Forum 2

While digital communication has afforded brands more opportunities to reach their audiences, consumers have developed a heightened awareness of traditional marketing tactics and look to their peers as a trusted source of information. Brands are now harnessing the power of those influencers for a return on investment that goes beyond retweets and Facebook likes. PR Newswire and Business Development Institute recently co-hosted the Influencer Marketing Forum featuring senior-level marketing and communications leaders who have successfully boosted sales by engaging their social influencers. Here are some of the valuable strategies they offered to help other organizations target and tap into their network:

Leverage the power of other brands that are thought-leaders in your desired market

Alberto Canal, Vice President of Verizon Communications Inc., hoped to establish his company’s brand as a technology innovator beyond cell phone devices. To accomplish this, Verizon teamed with the MIT Enterprise Forum and Mashable to host offline meet up sessions with start-up tech companies. Engaging with these notable brands and initiating personal interaction with other influencers enhanced Verizon’s efforts and increased their value as a part of the tech community.

Pick your social channels with a purpose 

Stats on social moms via Sharon Vinderine

Stats on social moms via Sharon Vinderine

According to Sharon Vinderine, founder and CEO of Parent Tested, Parent Approved Media, over 90% of the time spent online is by moms who rely on social media more than email as a means of communication. However, each social channel is valued for a different reason. Vinderine has observed that Twitter is used to view breaking news, Facebook to connect with friends and family, and Pinterest as a source of creative inspiration. Marketers need to understand their audience intentions on each these channels in order to customize the messages that connect and engage.

Establish a blog

Hosting a blog is key to reaching niche markets because it is viewed as an educational resource that builds credibility.  Sprout It CEO, Matt Armstead, sought the help of six influential bloggers within the home and garden industry to develop engaging content that promoted his company’s new iPad app and “backyard takeover” Instagram contest. The move helped Sprout It generate awareness among thousands of contest participants and firmly establish the brand within the home and gardening space on a conservative budget. It also earned Sprout It a spot on the list of 10 Best Influencer Marketing Campaigns of 2013.

Create visually stimulating content

Tap Influence’s Head of Business Development, Jennifer Swartley, believes that

Photos drive the most engagement on social channels.

Photos drive the most engagement on social channels.

in the age of constant connection, a brand’s social hub is “always on” and must be able to stand out against an overflowing stream of social chatter. According to Swartley, eye-catching images are the types of compelling content that “cuts through on every platform” and provides something of value for audiences to connect with emotionally. A recent survey conducted by PR Newswire supports this notion, proving that photos indeed drive the most engagement on social channels.

Mine your influencers and follow the people they follow

Social engagement is what drives discoverability of a brand’s messages. Therefore, brands need to seek out not just single influencers, but entire communities of people who are participants in the conversation. AARP was able to find a voice amongst an older generation of social media users by listening to conversations and targeting the same people that their identified influencers follow.  As Tammy Gordon, AARP’s Vice President of Social Communications says, “You want the people they care about to be delivering your messages.”

The 5 types of social influencers according to Neil Beam

The 5 types of social influencers according to Neil Beam

Know who your advocates are

Neil Beam, research and measurement council chair at WOMMA, identified five categories of social influencers: advocate, ambassador, celebrity, professional occupational, and citizen. According to Beam, advocates are the most powerful voice among all five categories because they are uncompensated and independent thinkers who bring the most financial return to the brands they support. By identifying advocates, brands are able to gain a number of valuable insights  such as competitive intelligence, locating target audiences , and diagnosing campaign strengths and weaknesses.

Drive new discovery through distribution 

Social media is undoubtedly a valuable tool for engaging with communities that share a common interest, enabling brands to gain visibility and traction among new audiences. To reach fresh audiences and continually introduce organization’s messages to new audiences, brands must put some thought – and some effort – behind the distribution of content they produce.  Reaching beyond your brand’s existing followers is crucial to both acquiring new audiences and driving ongoing discovery of the brand’s content.

Distribution can mean a variety of things, from developing a presence within a

A snapshot PR Newswire's press releases shared on Twitter within 3 minutes

A snapshot PR Newswire’s press releases shared on Twitter within 3 minutes

connected industry community to distributing granular content across a network of web sites.  Re-thinking your PR approach is important too – your audiences, as well as the bloggers and journalists who cover your space – are voraciously consuming and sharing content. Want proof? Take a look at the live feed of tweets about press releases issued via PR Newswire! Distribution beyond social channels will ultimately drive more visibility for your messages everywhere, including those same social channels.  When thinking about reaching audiences, remember that content distribution is additive, channeling more attention to your brand’s owned content.

For more thinking on how content distribution drives ongoing discovery and visibility for brands, click to download our free ebook Driving Content Discovery: How to Generate Ongoing Visibility for Your Content.

Content We Love: A “Crazy Good” Press Release

PopTarts Release

Click the image to view the entire multimedia news release

In this week’s Content We Love, freestyle skiers Torin Yater-Wallace and Maggie Voisin head to Sochi to compete in the first ever Olympic freeskiing competition. In honor of their incredible journeys, Pop-Tarts are featuring the medal contenders on limited edition boxes of their beloved breakfast pastry. Did I also mention that the latest additions to Team USA are teenagers?  Their remarkable stories weaved together by a variety of rich visual and social elements make this an unusual example of a press release that is all about storytelling.

A sign of a great press release is one that strikes an emotional chord with its readers. When reading this release, I felt in awe of how much these athletes have accomplished at such a young age. Eighteen-year old Torin remains the youngest Winter X-Games medalist in history, and fifteen-year old Maggie is the youngest U.S Winter Olympic hopeful since 1972. While these fascinating stories will surely resonate within a younger demographic of aspiring athletes, the inspiration one can gain from their passion and dedication transcends generational boundaries and creates an interesting reader experience for a broad audience of all ages.

Featured video footage of Torin catching big air on the slopes makes it hard to believe that he isn’t a seasoned veteran of the sport. But that all changes in the following scene as he names his (several) teen idol crushes. Using a multimedia element to capture Torin’s incredible talent and youthful charm adds another level of engagement to this release.

Incorporating suggested tweets and links to other popular social channels make it easy for readers to share this content and drive social conversations in the direction that Pop Tarts is hoping for. On Instagram, the Pop Tarts team has developed a great deal of entertaining content that shows a true understanding of their audience interests and aligns their efforts to appeal to a younger Olympic fan base.

PopTarts suggested tweets

The variety of storytelling elements incorporated within this release showcase a prime example of distributing content that caters to the audience’s interests and leaves a long-lasting and memorable impression. I look forward to cheering on Torin and Maggie in the upcoming games. Kudos to the Pop Tarts team on their great PR efforts!