Tag Archives: Content We Love

Content We Love: Harley Davidson Gears Up for Father’s Day

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Many people look to their social media newsfeeds as a source for current events, useful lifestyle tips, or amusement, but the thousands of daily visitors to PRNewswire.com  might also agree that perusing the latest press releases is another great way to find interesting and entertaining news. PR pros are naturally creative people and more of them are seeing the value of press releases as stories themselves. Instead of snooze-worthy, dry language, press release writers are utilizing their creative juices to write interesting, informative, and sometimes flat out hysterical stories.

One such story I came across is from a press release by Harley Davidson titled, “Survey Of U.S. Dads Reveals: 32 Percent Forgotten On Father’s Day; 53 Percent Would Return Gifts; And One Even Received A Santa Necktie.” From top to bottom, I came across a handful of new school tactics in this text-only release which immediately convinced me to highlight this piece as the subject of “Content We Love.”

  • A striking headline with interesting stats and a humorous story angle is inviting to read.
  • A timely, seasonal news hook that ties into Father’s Day is a clever way for Harley Davidson to join the conversation. While flowers, balloons, and jewelry are typical choices for making mom happy on Mother’s Day, gift options for dad are far less obvious.
  • Bullet points and bold text break down survey results and highlight key information in an easy-to-read format. Depending on the outlet, these can also serve as different story angles the writer might want to take.
  • Writing that is enjoyable to read. I sat at my desk audibly laughing at the survey responses asking dads about their worst Father’s Day gift experiences. One of my favorites: “a painted rock.” The point is, even though press releases are company generated news and a representation of your brand, they shouldn’t be boring! Every piece of content your company produces should intend to engage your audience and show them that you are the solution to their problem. Data, images, and humor are all ways to accomplish this.
  • Information that is helpful to the audience. This press release caters to the sons and daughters in search of great gift ideas for their dads, as well as the dads who are hoping to upgrade from a disappointment. Harley Davidson puts the focus of the conversation around satisfying the needs of their audience instead of their own brands and products.

Even though I loved the story angle and writing of this release, an accompanying infographic of the survey results or photo of a major gift fail could have elevated it even further for social sharing and media pick up.  Target sites like Motorcycle-USA.com and Motorcycle.com  covered this story and used Harley Davidson’s logo to add a visually stimulating element to the piece. Regardless of this missing component, Harley Davidson did a great job writing this release and making Father’s Day a happy occasion again!

ShannonAuthor Shannon Ramlochan is the Content Marketing Coordinator at PR Newswire. 

Content We Love: Visteon Demonstrates the Future of Automotive Technology and the Future of Press Releases

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Click here to view the complete press release

Click here to view the complete press release

Marketers today strive towards a mutually beneficial relationship between brand and consumer.  More and more companies are recognizing the advantages that press releases deliver to marketers in distributing owned content that educates their target customer. Visteon Corporation’s recent press release “3-D Gesture Recognition, Virtual Touch Screen Bring New Meaning to Vehicle Controls,” reminds us that the brand mention doesn’t have to be front and center. Instead, the customer benefit is the focal point of this announcement.

Get to the point, literally.  An easy-to-read bullet point list outlines the benefits of Visteon’s new invention. 3-D gesture recognition is a complex concept for people to understand, so it’s important to eliminate jargon when introducing new information.

Include visuals for further understanding. I was personally intrigued by how this new technology functions in everyday practice. Visteon offers a look at how their new “automotive cockpit” concept actually works by adding short and to the point video to their release demonstrating each of the features highlighted in the bulleted list.

Provide research that validates a need for your new product or concept.  For instance, Visteon noted that 70 percent of the participants who test-drove the cockpit concept were very interested in not having to search for a physical volume knob. That’s a large majority!

A focused call to action linking to Visteon’s blog, offers more supporting evidence and drives reader traffic directly to the company’s owned content.

Given the complexity of this topic, this press release serves as a great example of how to leverage distribution in order to effectively communicate and educate consumers. Nice job, Visteon!

Author Alyse Lamparyk is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her on twitter @alyselamp.

Content We Love: You Can’t Touch This

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The staggering rate at which technology continues to advance leads many of us wonder just how much of our daily lives can be controlled or influenced by a gadget.  Well, as evidenced by the recent press release titled,“Kohler’s Touchless Toilet Technology Marks a New Era in Toilet Flushing,” the possibilities are boundless. The amount of media attention that this announcement is generating throughout the tech community signifies the value of using press releases to communicate a great story, strike a chord with readers, and generate measureable ROI for marketers. While we usually highlight press releases on this blog containing visual elements, ironically this one stood out for its ability to grab reader’s attentions without it. For these reasons, Kohler’s magical touchless toilet is the subject of this week’s Content We Love.

Great stories stick with your audience and inspire them to act. In this case, it is an opportunity for Kohler to generate more sales for their groundbreaking new product. While automatic toilets already exist in public restrooms, this is the first time that they’ve become available for private use in all homes. It’s cutting-edge, futuristic, and clean, a narrative which is simply irresistible to our tech-savvy and health conscious culture.

Use compelling stats and figures to support your claim and be persuasive. Kohler conducted a study which finds that 51 percent of people are paranoid about germs in the bathroom. In a genius effort to drive that point further, they put the focus on just moms and children which increases that figure to 65 percent. A clear problem among a significant population has been established, and Kohler uses this release as an opportunity to raise awareness of a simple solution.

Provide readers with information that will improve their lives. An excerpt of a quote from Brian Hedlund, marketing manager of Kohler toilets and bidets says, “Homeowners are of course worried about the hygiene and health of their family members, and the toilet trip lever is an obvious area of hygienic concern. Touchless takes that concern out of the equation, utilizing new technology to provide a touchless way to control the flush.”Not only does this quote from an executive leader humanize the brand, it also states the point of view from an audience perspective and not the brand’s. When you use distribution to spread awareness of this message, it makes the intention of the message to be about helping more people, not selling more products. This slight nuance in the way your content is presented greatly impacts whether the audience will care about what you have to say or simply tune it out as another advertisement.

Kohler earned media pickup on major websites such as Yahoo!, Gizmodo, and Engadget, each of which links back to their press release and underscores that journalists still look to news releases as a source of ledes. Furthermore, Kohler benefits from the additional traffic that flows back to their company website after readers click on the links in their press release to find out more information.

This press release showcases the fundamentals of a great PR story: one that the audience strongly relates to which fulfills a demand or need and spurs interaction. Congratulations to Kohler on a job well done!

ShannonAuthor Shannon Ramlochan is PR Newswire’s Content Marketing Coordinator and was forbidden from making any bathroom puns. 

Content We Love: A Lesson in Education Reform and Press Release Writing

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Click here to view the entire press release

Click here to view the entire press release

As public relations evolves from a segmented business practice into an integral tactic of marketing and sales strategies, press releases have advanced as a tool to support these new relationships. In a recent announcement titled, “BBVA Compass economists say U.S. should adopt national curriculum in education overhaul,” economic research company BBVA Compass aptly demonstrates what a modern day press release that gets results should look like; one that is written and formatted in a way that creates several opportunities for the audience to engage and interact with their content in order to drive ongoing visibility for their message and establish trust with the organization.

A hard hitting headline and lead instantly presents the story angle and demands attention. Education reform continues to be a hotly debated topic in the United States, and BBVA seizes the opportunity to share their expertise. They have immediately provided a strong story angle for journalists to cover and earn media attention for their cause.

Visuals explain a complex issue in an understandable and emotionally engaging way. In the embedded YouTube video, BBVA Compass economist, Kim Fraser, exercises her thought-leadership on the issue while bringing sincerity and humanity to the message.  Its hi-res quality makes it readily available for broadcast media pick up, while allowing the message to extend to all social media channels where audiences are engaging mostly with visual content.

A call to action in first paragraph quickly leads to reader towards the intended goal of the message, which is to showcase the findings of a study that sheds light on the current challenges of the public education system while establishing BBVA as a trusted source of economic research.

Finally, the release provides an additional opportunity for engagement by inviting interested audiences to a web conference and Q&A session, further driving the discoverability of BBVA Compass in search results and credibility of the organization among the public.

BBVA Compass showcases the dynamic capabilities of a press release to spread awareness of a message in all relevant spaces, fostering a direct and emotional connection to the audience, and building trust with the public. Congratulations to BBVA Compass on an excellent release!

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

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Content We Love: How the Wire Helped a Family of Pittsburgh Bald Eagles

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Click here to view the entire release

Click here to view the entire news release

The story

Earlier this week I received an email from my mom (who is fondly nicknamed “Bird”) with the subject line: “A – the eagles are in danger, can you help???” As my team here in Cleveland knows, my mom is an avid eagle enthusiast who is obsessed with watching the first bald eagle family to nest in the Pittsburgh area in over 250 years via webcam. The webcam across the street documented the three eaglets being born, the mom chasing a raccoon from the nest, and an owl picking on mom as she slept. You can view the eagles on the webcam by clicking here.

The danger to the eagle family? Rat poison. An abandoned recycling center across the river from the eagles’ hunting territory was overrun with rats – thousands of them apparently. The company that purchased the center said the health department was forcing them to use rat poison to eradicate the rats. The problem with this is that eagles eat rats! Webcam viewers had seen them eating three rats in the past week alone. If the eagles consumed rats that were poisoned it could kill them with the eaglets especially being at risk. I spoke to a few sources including the owner of the Facebook group Save Hays Eagles (a group my mom and I belong to) and decided to take action by issuing a press release via none other than PR Newswire.

The release

I quickly drafted a press release titled, “Save Hays Eagles: Pittsburgh Bald Eagles at Risk Due to Rat Poison Presence,” and consulted my boss for editing. He kindly reminded me to include hyperlinks within the first paragraph, which drove traffic to our group’s Facebook page and provided further information around the cause. Once I received content approval from my contact at Save Hays Eagles, I downloaded a high res photo from a local Pittsburgh photographer who has been photographing the eagles for over a year, uploaded it to the Media Studio within the Online Member Center, and just moments later, the release hit our wire.

The results?

Earned media from local news

The media contact at Save Hays Eagles received numerous calls and four requests for media interviews, including an on-air appearance for Pittsburgh TV to discuss the issue.

Social engagement with key audiences

Sally Wiggin ReTweets

The next day ReleaseWatch reporting showed 13 mentions on Twitter thanks to PR Newswire’s targeted industry Twitter accounts PRNEnv and PRNPets and a retweet from local TV legend Sally Wiggin.

Increased visibility for our message

  • Over 309 websites had reposted the content
  • The release received 421 click-throughs
  • 2,145 total online & search views
  • 817 photo views
  • A total Visibility Index of 99 and an Engagement Index of 99

Two days later, it was reported that a safer alternative to the traditional poison used to kill rats will be used:  http://wesa.fm/post/health-department-tries-terminate-rats-not-eagles-pittsburgh

Local residents will likely be monitoring the situation and keeping a close eye on their eagles via the webcam. You can rest assured my mom will be one of them!

Amanda MeriwetherAuthor Amanda Meriwether is a manager of customer content services at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter.

Content We Love: A Socially and Environmentally Friendly Release

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Click to view the entire press release from So Delicious Dairy Free

Click to view the entire press release from So Delicious Dairy Free

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd each year and in honor of the occasion, So Delicious Dairy Free announced their groundbreaking new social media campaign in a press release titled  “World’s Shortest Grant Application – 140 Characters – Rewards Best Sustainability Ideas for Earth Day.” Environmental activists have a rare opportunity to pitch their ideas for making a world a better place in 140 characters or less using #140Difference. An astute use of new school press release tactics that focus on audience engagement earns this announcement a spot as this week’s Content We Love.

An attention-grabbing headline identifies a problem and solves it. The thought of writing out a 20-30 page grant proposal is without a doubt overwhelming, and it may even deter some from pursuing projects that could change the world. This eye-catching headline crisply summarizes the brand’s radical initiative in a perfectly tweetable length to pique the reader’s interest and engage them immediately.

Visuals that captivate the audience

Visuals establish an emotional connection with the audience by shedding light on the humanity and heart of an organization in a way that text alone simply cannot. So Delicious includes both photos and a video in their release in lieu of lengthy text, generating greater social interaction and audience reach for their message.

A hashtag that seeds social interaction

The embedded video poses a powerful question, “What Can 140 Characters Do?” Social media has reinvented activism as seen in the uprisings of Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. What started as virtual social interactions now have a profound impact on our personal lives, and So Delicious cleverly incorporates this idea to promote their CSR efforts, drive the conversation around their content, while changing the world for the better.

Humanize the brand with a quote from thought leadership

So Delicious includes a quote from their Advocacy Marketing Manager, Brittany Horn, which borrows from the principles of engaging on social media to create a more transparent business and open dialogue between the brand and consumer.

So Delicious demonstrates a true understanding of how to find and engage audiences with content that they will care about. Kudos on a job well done!

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

Content We Love: A ‘Snap’-py Approach to Social Media

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Though the world of #selfies seems to be dominated by teenagers, they aren’t the only ones turning cameras on themselves. Brands are now incorporating the wildly popular form of content creation to connect with their social audiences, a topic we’ve been tackling in our ongoing event series “How to Keep Your Content Relevant in the Age of the Selfie.”

Grey Panda LastSelfieA recent release by Grey Group  and The World WildLife Fund titled, “ Grey And The World Wildlife Fund Use Snapchat To Raise Awareness Of Endangered  ” debuted a new social media campaign on Snapchat called the #LastSelfie, to raise awareness about the diminishing population of tigers, rhinos, orangutans, pandas and polar bears. The campaign encourages Snapchat users to share images created by the WWF of these animals utilizing the platform’s short lifespan to transmit the real message: these animals are in danger of disappearing. The press release tactics incorporated into this announcement showcase Grey Group and WWF’s thorough understanding of where their desired audience is engaging and the types of content that will be most interesting to them.

Powerful visual assets paired with minimal text

Organizations are becoming attuned to the fact that attention spans are shrinking and communication is shifting from a text-based to image-based approach. The WWF forfeits lengthy text in favor of three visual assets including video, which amplifies their message exponentially. They have allowed their message to reach not just Snapchat, but Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and all other social platforms where their target demographic is engaging with primarily visual content.

A perceptive and targeted approach to social engagement

The WWF covers largely uncharted social territory by targeting their selfie campaign to Snapchat. The mobile app has become a hit among a younger demographic due to the user’s ability to send photos and videos to peers that disappear forever within seconds of being viewed. WWF is tactfully mirroring this idea to raise awareness of endangered animals to a new generation of activists. It is a targeted approach to social engagement that demonstrates a true understanding of this platform and the kinds of messages that will resonate with its users.

Now that social media has solidified its place as a necessary part of communicating for brands and consumers alike, the audiences on these channels have evolved. Using social media platforms with purpose instead of a scattered approach targets your message to the people most important to it and indicates  the types of content that you should be creating for that audience. Congrats to Grey Group and the WWF on their social-savvy communications efforts!

Author Alyse Lamparyk is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her on twitter @alyselamp.