Tag Archives: Content We Love

Content We Love: A Press Release Built for Action

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This week’s standout press release isn’t loaded with multimedia, but it caught my attention nonetheless due to excellent presentation of text elements.  Issued by Edcite and titled, “Edcite Puts Teachers in Control of Common Core Practice,” this press release is designed to both tell the story to interested media and bloggers, and encourage direct action from the audience. lil tweet

There are quite a few things I like about this story, including:

  • The snappy headline captures initial attention, and the subhead keeps the momentum going, providing incentive to keep reading with a strong news hook.
  • An ultra-streamlined lead paragraph surfaces key messages using bullet points, rather than burying them in subsequent paragraphs.  This tactic increases the likelihood that a reader will stay on the page, rather than bouncing away.
  • The streamlined lead is immediately followed by a call to action in the form of a link readers can follow.
  • A quote from a teacher involved in the development of Common Core curricula adds another dimension of interest and credibility.   Even better, it reads like a mini-story, highlighting a problem the Edcite solution solves.
  • The quote is followed by a video link, offering yet another call to action, and encouraging additional engagement and reader interaction.

As I read through this release, I was struck by how deliberately the author used different elements to maintain reader attention.   The entire message is tight and focused, while still very readable and relatable.     A text-only press release can be a rich and engaging experience for readers, as this message from Edcite clearly proves.   My compliments to the authors on a job well done. 
Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the newly-published ebook  New School Press Release TacticsFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

Content We Love: Resorting to Great Content

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.

Growing up, family vacations were my absolute favorite. We kept a list of the states visited and show-and-tells in school were filled with pictures of pilgrims, museums and nature. So when I saw the release by Holiday Inn Resort about launching a campaign for kids on vacation, I couldn’t help but feel giddy.

The Holiday Inn Resort® Brand Launches Kid Classified Campaign

The headline is pithy and intriguing. I couldn’t help but find out what “Kid Classified” meant. Within the reasons for having a dynamic headline, readers taking action to read the release is paramount.

But center stage and stealing the spotlight is the infographic. I absolutely love infographics because it combines two great things: visuals and content. What a great way to showcase the results of a survey, Holiday Inn Resorts!

Within the great content and engaging language of the release also contained bullet points. Bullet points are the breath of proverbial fresh air; they break up chunks of text. This aids for optimal readability because it lets the reader hone in on important information and not skim.

After reading this release I couldn’t help but reminisce on my incredible childhood traveling and also yearning to travel even more. It is always a joy to read such great content! A big thank you to Holiday Inn Resorts for providing an excellent press release.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-holiday-inn-resort-brand-launches-kid-classified-campaign-225178642.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: Uncovering gDiapers

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“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.

On the cusp of NYFW, the rattlers were sounded when gDiapers released their version of the Fall trends– for babies!

gDiapers Introduces Mix-And-Match Coordinates And Diaper Covers For Fall 2013

The headline, complete with an action verb, covers more than fashion.

The priority with a headline is that it IS the first glimpse of a story. It needs to tell the full story in ideally 65 characters with spaces. Reason being: search engines index the first 65 characters. There isn’t a penalty for going over; simply keep the story in the beginning!

gDiapers’ headline showcases a new product which highlights the prettier side of diapers: fashion! The company makes diapers more eco-friendly by having flushable (or compost-able) inserts in festive covers.

gDiapers: A company dedicated to eliminating conventional disposable diapers from the planet. The new gVeggie gPant pictured here with coordinating gLegs.  (PRNewsFoto/gDiapers)

When introducing a new product, it is paramount to include an image. Images increase your chance of visibility which means more eyes will be potentially seeing your image! Scrolling through releases and seeing an adorable baby wearing a colorful diaper? Yeah. I clicked on that to see the story. gDiapers? #Winning.

Great headlines and powerful imagery deliver directly to readers (like a stork) and just like new baby smell, we can’t help but love it!

Big thanks to gDiapers for bringing beauty to dirty diapers everywhere.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gdiapers-introduces-mix-and-match-coordinates-and-diaper-covers-for-fall-2013-225097352.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: Bee’s Knees

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.

jimbeam

New products are great reasons for a press release. So when Jim Beam issued a release about a new whiskey in a socially responsible (and humorous) way, I couldn’t help but fall in love!

The whiskey is infused with real honey and in light of the bee plight, the news is focusing on the bees instead.

“As passionate honey lovers and bee advocates, Jim Beam Honey has hired legendary “Seinfeld” attorney, Jackie Chiles, to “sue” honey’s other biggest fan – the bears. That’s right – it’s time for bears to cease and desist from their rampant honey theft.”

A new product may not warrant humor or even creativity– but what I love about Jim Beam’s release is it created more than just buzz with their approach.

While I love multimedia and its ability to transform a press release (not to mention increase visibility), pairing the images/videos of “SUE THE BEARS!” next to a release not only showcasing a new product definitely captures interest. If you have multimedia, it is always in your best interest to include it.

Combining social media with a message is proving to bee great for a release– search engines are prioritizing news with social media to be higher in results fields. What does this mean for a company? Utilize the social media network! #SueTheBears worked its way over Twitter and people took notice. The campaign donated money to help protect the bees for every tweet sent — which is yet another way to embrace the power of social media! (Yay!)

The story is truly the bee’s knees with focusing on how it was written. With the search engine analytics requesting content to be human, it is in the best interest of every article, release and posting to not be computer-generated jargon but be written for and by people.

A big thank you to Jim Beam for the bee-autiful release that is truly the bee’s knees in our book.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jim-beam-honey-on-a-mission-to-save-bees-from-a-serious-issue-by-suing-bears-220178941.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: Bullets for Breakfast

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.

milk breakfastLooking back, mornings at the beginning of the school year always felt hectic and frenetic to me.  Always in a rush to get out the door, the priority was to have something in our stomachs by the time that first bell rang to be in class.

It’s known breakfast is the most important meal of the day. With that in mind, the California Milk Processor Board set out to make sure kids are fed a nutritious meal before school starts. Their release, Eat Breakfast, Win Money For Your School sets the tone of the priorities and establishes it with killer content.

The premise of this promotion is simple:

  • Breakfast is important.
  • And so is good content.

Making breakfast exciting? A headline, bullet points, and an image keep the audience captivated.  What sets this release apart is how seamlessly certain assets are interspersed to naturally draw the reader’s attention.

  • Headlines are notorious for being paramount; this is the introduction to a story and readership depends upon it.

Eat Breakfast, Win Money For Your School automatically captures attention because…sure, I’ll eat breakfast to win money for my school! Pithy and succinct headlines DO matter and have a direct correlation to those taking an interest in the release. For the case of the California Milk Processor Board, I couldn’t help but be intrigued which ultimately lead to this feature!

The use of a bulleted list to indicate school districts invited to participate is an easy and simple draw; it breaks up chunks of text to allow “breathing room” for readability. While bullet points are unnecessary in novels, the attention span of an audience rarely maintains throughout a multitude of lengthy paragraphs. Bullets not only break up the text, but also provide key points to deliver your message.

This release proves that your release doesn’t have to be excessively flashy to draw the eye, and it is remarkably fitting to have a straightforward release for an important message.

Breakfast is important. Content delivers every time.

Thank you to California Milk Processor Board for allowing us to showcase a terrific release!

http://www.prnewswire.com/.news-releases/eat-breakfast-win-money-for-your-school-219311801.html#prettyPhoto

Author Robbie Thomsen is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Off duty, he often can be found in the kitchen, experimenting with myriad foods and techniques. You can follow his tests and trials in front of the stove at www.acrisisaverted.wordpress.com

Content We Love: Curating Company Content & Keeping it Current

ContentWeLoveOver the last couple months, I’ve been talking a bit about the long life spans of press releases, as well as tactics to drive the discovery of the content our brands publish.

A fantastic example of using a press release to surface content, keeping it fresh and relevant to audiences, crossed the wire a few days ago.   Titled “FM Global Urges Property Owners to Avoid Complacency Following U.S. Presidential Task Force Report on Hurricane Resiliency,” and issued by FM Global, this press release about hurricane preparedness will deliver lasting value both readers and the brand over the coming months.

FM Global used a press release to tie existing content assets to a timely news story, driving discovery of the company's message.

FM Global used a press release to tie existing content assets to a timely news story, driving discovery of the company’s message.

What seems like a simple release initially is really a master class in framing the company’s message within the audience’s needs.

Using a Presidential report from the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force as a news hook, FM Global wrapped a variety of related content – ranging from basic hurricane prep to more sophisticated hurricane risk data – together for  their audiences, offering links to the content along with brief descriptions of the available information.

Pro tips: 

  • Using the title of the Presidential report in the headline improves the visibility, credibility and relevance of the story.
  • FM Global used trackable links to serve the related content within the press release, ensuring they will be able to see exactly how many people clicked on the links within the press release, and which pieces of content were most popular among readers.

Best of all, the communications team at FM Global has created a press release that will be useful to journalists covering the topic, as well as the individual seeking more information on hurricane preparations and insurance claims.

By curating their own content, bundling it together for easy consumption and then using a current news angle to create currency for the information, the FM Global team has done a great job of utilizing existing content assets, getting more out of those original investments while at the same time inserting the brand into the current news stream in a thoughtful, useful and relevant way.

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of the e-books Unlocking Social Media for PR and the newly-published  New School Press Release Tactics.  Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

Coming up at Content Marketing World:

Sarah is presenting on the topic of content discovery next month at Content Marketing World, in session titled “10 Online Discovery Tips that Will Get Your Content Promoted.”   We hope to see you in Cleveland at the show!   In the meantime, follow the conversation on Twitter, hashtag #CMWorld.

Content We Love: A Sense of Place

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.

When I think of New York City I envision a jumble of people, lights, cabs & buildings. The energy is high and culture and ideas abound. Anything could happen.

Full disclosure: I have never visited The Big Apple. Shocking, I know, but it’s high on my list; even higher after viewing NewYork.com’s “New York Moment” video series. I found myself mentally mapping out when I can explore this new location.

While my general view of NYC may consist of clichés, the first five videos of the series include all of the components I mentioned mixed with an overwhelming sense of pride. These individuals love the place they call home, each for their own reasons. As someone who is fiercely proud of where I’m from, I respect the message.

Their connections to their surroundings are rooted in their experiences of music, drawing, photography, and sports, and they allow us a brief peak into their slice of the city. We’re suddenly catapulted into the backseat of Mr. Bradford’s cab, watching him simultaneously steer and photograph. Next we’re standing on the sidewalk, our ears filled with the din of Tony Pots-n-Pans’ rhythm. While the Bacon Brothers express their adoration, Mr. Heney recounts baseball legends, and Mr. Colombo encourages us to take another look at the structures rising high.

Once you’ve shared in these experiences the tendency is to share your own, and NewYork.com wants you to do just that. What better way to instantly broadcast it than social media? In an effort to monitor the conversations, life-long New Yorkers, recent transplants and tourists are encouraged to use the hashtags #MyNYMoment & #WeLoveThisCity. I don’t have anything to contribute just yet, but hopefully it won’t be long before I join in on the conversation.

Thank you, NewYork.com, for putting us in a New York state of mind.

Author Alyse Lamparyk is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her adventures on http://www.ghanaseewhaticansee.wordpress.com or on twitter @alyselamp.

Content We Love: Storyline Markers

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.

School is starting soon and that always meant one thing for me: school supplies!

With the changing of the season and school buses out on practice runs, the school supply aisles are packed with kiddos and parents alike. So when I saw Crayola’s release about changing the way we see school supplies, I immediately sat up straight and couldn’t pull my eyes away from the story.

FROM MARKERS…TO CLEAN ENERGY

Align with the latest SEO news concerning press releases, the constant remains:  content matters. Press releases are stories being shared. Crayola’s story was marked and color-coded to perfection.

The headline: short, succinct headlines are proven to get attention. With search engines indexing only the first 65 characters and the short attention-span of viewers, this is the golden opportunity to reel in the audience. Crayola’s headline of “FROM MARKERS…TO CLEAN ENERGY” introduce curiosity and the main topic: Recycled markers = clean energy! Cool!

Visuals: Complete with b-roll and pictures, the school children tell the story. Just like in school, visual aids help tell the story in a different way. While it is human nature to look at pictures (especially with a press release), Crayola’s images are just so… colorful!

Bullets: While press releases are composed of words, the story can sometimes get close in a sea of paragraphs. Bullets break up a story visually because it changes the landscape of the paragraphs.

  • Simply put, audiences are drawn to succinct sentences and lists.
  • Crayola’s release detailing what can be done with the recycled markers is perfect for a bulleted list!

Big thanks to Crayola for the incredible release!

http://www.multivu.com/mnr/57862-colorcycle-marker-crayola-clean-energy-program-clean-energy

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.

3 Keys to Writing Press Releases that Drive Discovery Over Time

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One of the most popular press releases on PRNewswire.com right now is an item that was released in March.  How is that even possible?

This particular press release, issued by the American Academy of Neurology, and titled “AAN Issues Updated Sports Concussion Guideline: Athletes with Suspected Concussion Should Be Removed from Play” outlines the organization’s sports concussion guidelines and specifically states that athletes with concussions should be immediately removed from play.

The issue of brain injuries in athletics has been a hot topic for a while, and certainly, it’s no surprise that an announcement like this one, from a leading authority in the space, would garner news coverage.

Yesterday's mention of the AAN press release on the NFL.com site.

Yesterday’s mention of the AAN press release on the NFL.com site.

But why does this press release continue to be among the most-emailed on our web site, months after issue?  There are a few different reasons.

  1. Longevity:  This particular press release was built to deliver long-term visibility.   The headline is clear and succinct, and the press release itself more than delivers on the promise of the headline.   In addition to being timely and topical, the headline (and the rest of the content) also reflect common vernacular.  The meaning isn’t obscured by impenetrable jargon.
  2. Utility:  This press release contains more than an academic discussion of the AAN’s updated concussion guidelines.   The authors, in a series of bullet points, summarized key research findings that underpin the new guidelines.  In addition, a short list of concussion symptoms is also included.   This is the sort of useful information that inspires journalists and other readers to print, bookmark, share and otherwise save content for future reference.  It’s no surprise that this release continues to be picked up and referenced five months after it was issued.
  3. Authority:  This press release has clearly gathered authority over time.  In fact, just yesterday, it was mentioned on the NFL.com site.  As more people share content in social networks and link to it in articles and on other credible web sites, the content will grow in authority – and visibility.

We’ve mentioned the increasing life spans of press releases, as search engines make it easier for searchers to find granular information.   In closing, I’ll leave you with another tip:  watch your press release measurement reports.  We know that press releases continue to accrue results over time, and if you stop tallying those results shortly after your releases are issued, you’ll leave quantifiable results on the table.

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of the e-book “Unlocking Social Media for PR.”  Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik

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Content We Love: The Golden Key

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Ahhh, Summer.  That perfect time of year for road trips and adventures.  Growing up, my brother and I would explore some new and exotic (to our young minds) culinary delight from around the world.  Due to this adventurous spirit, we were able to indulge in such unique vittles.  These experiences molded my brother and me into the people we are today–completely and utterly fascinated with food.

foodtruck

 

Looking back, I believe those trips instilled something in me that is of colossal though intangible value.  My fascination with food has spilled into my personal life and I when I saw The Food Network’s release about The Great Food Truck Race, I was immediately intrigued.

The story is the sense of adventure instilled by a challenge.  Here, a youthful and somewhat playful impulse–to try new food on a new adventure–is coupled with America’s entrepreneurial spirit in the form of financial support to start a new business in the unique niche industry of traveling food service.

Multimedia Captures An Audience

This release is a multimedia press release which means it includes “assets” to fully showcase the story. And just like the food, the images are fresh.

Instantly the viewer is drawn in with the background of the release. Pictured is a man holding a golden key. Is this the golden ticket? Curiosity leads to the story which leads to the very reason I love this release. One can’t help but read the story!

And the fun doesn’t stop there. The components are simply laid out and filled with pictures upon pictures, a compelling video, and social media elements. Not only does this allow all readers to seamlessly and flawlessly go on an adventure through the race, but also connects the audience with the story hands on.

The visuals provide us with a glimpse into a world of food service.  I want to see all these teams succeed, and even further, I want to get my own food truck after watching the video. What could I specialize in?! Falafel? Lamb shanks? No–let’s not get too crazy here.

This release catches our eye, and promises us–like the contestants in the show–that we can accomplish anything by following our dreams.

A hearty thanks to the Food Network for sharing the adventure with us!

http://www.multivu.com/players/English/58431-the-great-food-truck-race/

Author Robbie Thomsen is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Off duty, he often can be found in the kitchen, experimenting with myriad foods and techniques. You can follow his tests and trials in front of the stove at www.acrisisaverted.wordpress.com.