Tag Archives: Content We Love

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!

Content We Love: Writing Content from an Audience Perspective

In this week’s Content We Love, SocialRadar is launching a new mobile app that takes social networking offline and into the real world. By combining geo-location data with the user’s social networks, the app aims to rid its customers of the social anxieties that come with feeling alone in a crowded room (or feeling bored in an empty one). The press release for this announcement, titled “SocialRadar’s App for iPhone Gives You Real-time Information About the People Around You,”  is reflective of the company’s desire to help their audience. It is formatted with reader’s needs in mind, and showcases a great example of how to generate quality earned media by writing content from an audience perspective.lil tweet

  • The release begins with a headline that prioritizes social interaction. In less than 100 characters, it tells a complete story of what the reader can gain from this product, followed by a sub-head providing more information on where the app is available for download.
  • Right after the lead paragraph, a call-to-action to download the app is placed near the top of the release, prompting readers to try it out immediately and driving traffic right back to their site.
  • Sentences highlighted in bold add an extra visual component within the body of the release and delve into the types of real-life scenarios where a customer could avoid a potentially awkward confrontation by relying on this handy app.
The Wall Street Journal does a 1-minute video review of SocialRadar

The Wall Street Journal demonstrates SocialRadar in a 1-minute video review

  • Embedding a YouTube video increases the brand’s discoverability on search engine rankings and adds another level of engagement between the reader and the release. The video itself is great too; a light-hearted, shareable product demo without scripted voiceovers that truly allows the product to “speak for itself.”
SocialRadar earns coverage in the Washington Post

SocialRadar earns coverage in the Washington Post

This release generated top-quality earned media for the company, including

several interviews with the CEO and even a video product demo by the Wall Street Journal. This type of earned media is key for positioning the SocialRadar brand as a thought-leader in the tech industry, as well as a top competitor in the race for the next big mobile app.

Congrats to the SocialRadar team on crafting a spectacular release!  If you’d like more examples for crafting press releases that will be found, discovered and shared, take a look at our free ebooks, Driving Content Discovery and  New School Press Release Tactics

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

Content We Love: A Press Release That Scores a Winning Touchdown

ContentWeLoveWith the Big Game looming on the horizon, millions of fans around the country are gearing up for a weekend of chants, cheers, and – apparently – chicken wings. The National Chicken Council capitalized on a golden opportunity to announce the findings of their annual Wing Report by issuing a press release. Not only is this release a pristine example of fantastic timing – it also incorporates a number of other strategic PR tactics that makes this announcement a noteworthy piece of content.

A tweet-able, eye-catching headline

In just 58 characters, the National Chicken Council grabs the reader’s attention by including an interesting stat in the headline. Numerical data communicates credibility to audiences, and the headline’s attention-grabbing and to-the-point message makes it ideal for sharing on social channels. The stat garnered press coverage from several high-profile outlets including Bloomberg, the Huffington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, and was tweeted by prominent social influencers.

Los Angeles Times Chicken Wings

Juicy, bite-sized bullet points

Not only did the National Chicken Council highlight figures about the season’s

The announcement reaches a broad fan base on the Fox Sports website

The announcement reaches a broad fan base on the Fox Sports website

last-standing finalists, but expanded the list to include all eight teams that made it to the playoffs divisional round. It’s a cunning tactic for appealing to a broad range of passionate fans and stealing attention from readers who might be quickly scanning the page.

Anchor text with a call to action

Finally, the release wisely embeds links from relevant natural phrases that motivates readers to take an additional action. The National Chicken Council benefits from qualified traffic leading back to their site when their content is posted on other web pages.

Coverage on the Huffington Post links back to the National Chicken Council's website

Coverage on the Huffington Post links back to the National Chicken Council’s website

Kudos to the National Chicken Council on delivering  content that is both newsworthy and PR-savvy.

Content We Love: The Brand as Publisher

ContentWeLoveAs I was interviewing Anthony Hardman  of SecureState for yesterday’s blog post about newsjacking, I asked him whether chip and pin technology that is present in Europe would solve the credit card fraud problems we’ve seen in the US lately.   He replied, “Funny you ask,  I just wrote a 1,000-word blog post on that very topic – I’ll send you the link.”

Credit card security is top of mind for me.  Earlier this week, I spotted some funky looking charges that turned out to be fraudulent.  If, in fact, I accurately represent the audience of people who are concerned about their credit cards after shopping at compromised retailers and are thinking long and hard about credit card security, Hardman did a great job in anticipating my concerns and the sort of questions I’d be asking.  A former journalist, he’s now applying his news nose to his company’s content creation strategy. What he sent me wasn’t just a blog post-it was brand journalism.

secure state chip

As I completed my research for my blog post, I couldn’t help but notice that SecureState had promoted the chip and pin blog post with a news release (“Is Chip and Pin the Answer to Retail Security? SecureState Offers Advice for Industry.”) That news release (and the others SecureState has issued to promote their content recently) is the subject of today’s Content We Love series. 

Now why would anyone use a channel like news release distribution to promote owned media when in fact so many other channels exist? After all, we have our brand websites and blogs, social media channels, industry groups and online forums – the list of channels with which we can reach our audiences goes on an on.

In my mind, the answer is simple. If your organization needs to continually expand its audience and develop engagement with new prospects, then distribution needs to be part of the content strategy. lil tweet

“People are reading news releases, and Google is indexing them. Our second leading source of referral traffic for our web site is from PR Newswire press releases,” Hardman noted during our chat yesterday.  “We’re using them to promote our content. We’re targeting readers.”

Hardman told me that the press releases his organization issued have become the second-largest referrer of traffic to their web site and, behind search engines, which means that the readers the company is targeting are finding their messages.  What’s more, the visitors referred by press releases are also making the leap from reader to qualified leads.

SecureState is using its content strategy to augment its PR efforts, and in effect is acting as a publisher.  The news releases are surfacing the editorial content the company has created.  They’re earning attention and credibility for their own messages by communicating in a timely and direct way with their own audiences.  It’s an interesting and effective strategy for amplifying the visibility of the brand’s messages. 

Get some new ideas for your PR & content strategies for the coming year: join us next week for a free webinar titled “Newsworthiness: New Context & Opportunities for PR,” on January 23.  The very definition of “news” is changing, and this evolution creates the opportunity for PR & content marketing pros to create timely content that earns credibility, earns media and generates ongoing (and relevant) visibility for the brand. Taking pages from the journalistic and content marketing playbooks, this webinar will include a discussion on the evolution of news, how to map the resources within your own organization and ways to identify different opportunities a responsive communications department can capitalize upon.

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the recently-published ebook Driving Content DiscoveryFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

Content We Love: News We Can REALLY Use

ContentWeLoveMost of the US has been gripped in inexorable cold for the better part of the last week and have been dreaming of Spring, which seems pretty far off at this point.  Enter the folks at Kayem Foods, who reminded us this week that we can still grill despite the chill.

Kayem Foods' press release promotes a contest, and offers great cold weather grilling advice.

Kayem Foods’ press release promotes a contest, and offers great cold weather grilling advice.

Earlier this week, the Kayem team issued a press release promoting their new “Grill in the Chill” Facebook giveaway.  While you have to like their Facebook page in order to be in the running for a package of grillable goodies or the grand prize- a brand new grill – readers of the press release were all winners, because in addition to the contest promotion, the message also included a variety of great cold-weather grilling tips.

Freemont Insurance offers timely advice on preventing ice dams and frozen pipes, two winter scourges.

Freemont Insurance offers timely advice on preventing ice dams and frozen pipes, two winter scourges.

Another great example I spotted this week was from Michigan-based Freemont Insurance, titled “Is Your Home Winter Wise? Freemont Insurance Offers Tips for Protecting a Home from the Ravages of Winter.”  The press release addresses problems such as ice dams and frozen pipes, and offers information on how to prevent and remediate both.

In addition to sharing an extremely timely angle, these two messages do more than capitalize upon a news opportunity.   By offering generous and truly useful information, both brands increase the likelihood that their messages will be read and shared.   In addition to driving short term actions, such as Facebook page likes (a call to action served up by both companies) the reads and shares of the press releases issued by Kayem Foods and Freemont Insurance are also likely to generate traction in search engines, developing longer-lasting and potent visibility for each company.

In fact, Freemont releases useful information monthly, using press releases to convey tips and information about preventing electrical fires, avoiding hunting accidents and winterizing your boat, to name a few. As such, they’re doing a nice job of speaking directly to their audiences of current and prospective customers, in a useful and engaging way.

Thank you to Kayem Foods and Freemont Insurance for helping us deal with the cold, and showing us creative ways to package useful content!

Join us for a free webinar titled “Newsworthiness: New Context & Opportunities for PR,” on January 23.  What’s newsworthy? The very definition of “news” is changing, and this evolution creates the opportunity for PR pros to create timely content that earns credibility, earns media and generates ongoing (and relevant) visibility for the brand. Taking pages from the journalistic and content marketing playbooks, this webinar will include a discussion on the evolution of news, how to map the resources within your own organization and ways to identify different opportunities a responsive PR department can capitalize upon.

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the recently-published ebook Driving Content DiscoveryFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

Content We Love: Showcasing News for All Audiences

ContentWeLoveIn the run up to the 2014 iteration of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), exhibitors have been clamoring for media attention, furiously booking interviews with media, scheduling press conferences and satellite media tours, prepping visual communications assets and priming their social media presences — and for good reason.   CES is a monster show that generates a massive amount of news coverage and social buzz.

LG CES

As I was scanning the burgeoning feed of press releases the show has already generated, one from LG grabbed my attention – an not solely because it was about a 77-inch OLED television. (Please, don’t tell my husband about the existence of this thing!)  

LG To Showcase OLED TV Lineup at CES 2014

No doubt, the TV looks cool.  Scratch that, it looks amazing.  I found myself reading the whole press release, clicking on the pictures, and then Googling prices (let’s just say, it’s still in the “if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it” range for most people.)  But as I said, it looks pretty amazing. 

However, this edition of Content We Love isn’t about a stunning TV picture.  It’s about the fact that LG have elected to engage the audience who won’t be at CES this year.  The folks who will be at the show probably won’t be able to miss the LG booth.  The monster OLED TV will undoubtedly be front and center in the display, drawing in booth traffic like moths to a flame.

But for the majority of us who won’t be at CES, LG have done something pretty interesting.  They have used a big industry event to drive attention to their products, prior to the launch.   A few years ago, LG may have elected to keep the unveiling of their new OLED TV range under tight wraps, in order to make a splash at the show.

But today’s information environment is different.  Social buzz can help garner media attention. Both media attention and social interaction send potent signals to search engines, and can increase brand visibility.  Messages and campaigns simply do not exist in isolation anymore.

In the days before next week’s big event, LG can provide important runway for the debut of their new TVs by starting to build social buzz and media awareness right now.  And one way they’re seeding that interest is by sending a news release, loaded product details and handsome images, out to the media and the broader public in advance of the event.  With this LG release, we see evidence of a truly integrated communications strategy.

Kudos to the LG team on a well planned – and executed – communications strategy.

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the recently-published ebook Driving Content DiscoveryFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

The Content We Most Loved in 2013

ContentWeLoveAs we wind down 2013 and look forward to the new year, we took a look at some of the campaigns and messages highlighted this year on Content We Love.    The most popular posts for the year fell into three categories:  examples of  multimedia/multichannel campaigns, message distribution and writing tactics.  here are the top posts of the year, for each of these key categories:

Multimedia & Multichannel Campaigns

Content We Love: the Press Release Behind the Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” Campaign :  http://blog.prnewswire.com/2013/04/19/content-we-love-the-press-release-behind-the-dove-real-beauty-sketches-campaign/

Content We Love: A Message in a Bottle (and a Multimedia News Release) http://blog.prnewswire.com/2013/03/22/content-we-love-a-message-in-a-bottle-and-a-multimedia-news-release/

Content We Love: Michaels Stores Crafting Multimedia http://blog.prnewswire.com/2013/02/22/content-we-love-michaels-stores-crafting-multimedia

Content Distribution: 

Content We Love: A Feel Great Story Gets A Boost:  http://blog.prnewswire.com/2013/12/13/content-we-love-a-feel-great-story-gets-a-boost/

Content We Love: Curating Company Content & Keeping it Current
http://blog.prnewswire.com/2013/08/30/content-we-love-curating-company-content-keeping-it-current/

Writing Tactics: 

Content We Love: Backbone of Storytelling : http://blog.prnewswire.com/2013/05/10/content-we-love-backbone-of-storytelling/

Content We Love: A Press Release Built for Action
http://blog.prnewswire.com/2013/11/08/content-we-love-a-press-release-built-for-action-2/

Content We Love: Social Media Makes This Release Pop
http://blog.prnewswire.com/2013/05/17/content-we-love-social-media-makes-this-release-pop/

Content We Love: A Masterful News Hook
http://blog.prnewswire.com/2013/01/18/content-we-love-a-masterful-news-hook/