Tag Archives: press release tips

For Brand Messages, Distribution Matters.

Why do press releases still matter?  I tackled this question in an interview with The Pulse Network at the Inbound Marketing Summit a couple years ago.

A post on PR Daily today questions the value of press release distribution, given the declining number of journalists. [link]

So who really does read press releases these days? 

In short, the audience is still vast, and it includes all of your organization’s key constituents.  Press releases are extremely public means of communications.

  • The tens of thousands of credentialed media on PR Newswire for Journalists tally more than one million press release reads each month.
  • On PR Newswire.com, the press releases we issue garner more millions more reads each month.   Most of those readers find the content via search engines.
  • On Twitter, if you search the term “PRNewswire” you’ll see an avalanche of tweets referencing press releases – often several per minute.

Our clients tell us the press releases they issue have resulted in coverage on Good Morning America (with no pitching!),  increases in landing page traffic of more than 200%,  record app downloads and the generation of qualified leads for sales teams.   The key take-away is this:  all of your brand’s constituents are reading the PR content you distribute.  Failing to calibrate your content accordingly leaves measurable results on the table.

Distribution drives results. 

What drives these results?  Distribution.  Distributing messages beyond the realms of the journalists on your targeted media lists and your brand’s followers on social networks delivers specific and measurable results.   Well-crafted messages are found by new audiences, re-distributed across peer and professional networks and are surfaced in search engine results – often for months after the messages are originally issued.    Distribution is the key to driving ongoing message discovery and introducing your brand to new constituents.

Disappointing results?  Take a hard look at the message.

If your press releases aren’t generating results, before you blame your distribution channels, take a look at the messages.    Here are some tips for making your press releases relevant, useful and effective in today’s connected digital environment:

  1. Is your content truly interesting and useful to your target audiences?  Framing your message in the context of what your audience cares about or will find interesting will enliven your message, and prevent it from reading like a missive from the ivory tower.
  2. Do your headlines convey the messages that will appeal to audiences?  Headlines aren’t for branding.  They shouldn’t be coy.  Headlines need to arrest the eyes of your reader, and inspire them to stop, and read your message.     Keep the headline short – about a hundred characters.  Use a subhead to add the brand mention and additional detail – you needn’t be so mindful of length there.
  3. Do you embed specific and measurable calls to action toward the top of your messages?   Give your readers a path to take by providing a link to a relevant web page that will further engage them with your brand.  Invite them to read an excerpt of a white paper, view a demo or provide robust Q&A that will answer their obvious questions.    In addition to courting media coverage, the press releases you issue are also portals for your brand, and can deliver new audiences right to their doorstep.  Don’t rely on a link to your homepage that’s buried down in the boilerplate.  Make it easy for people to find relevant information, and take the next step.
  4. Is the copy you distribute designed to be easily scanned by readers on all kinds of devices, using bold subheads and bullet points to surface key themes?  Many people are reading press releases on tablets and smartphones.  Organize the body of your press release content into easy to scan chucks, and use numbered or bulleted lists to draw attention to key points.
  5. Does your PR team illustrate press releases with visual content, such as videos, images and infographics?    We really can’t emphasize the value of visuals enough.  Search engines and social networks are increasingly visual, and plain text simply doesn’t carry the same weight. Relying on plain text reduces the effectiveness of messages.

The practice of public relations today requires an increasingly deft touch.  PR Newswire’s own distribution network is designed to deliver customized content to the journalists, bloggers, web sites and media outlets that subscribe to our news feeds.    Ensuring the content they receive from us is relevant to their interests and areas of coverage is the cornerstone of our media relations programs and services.

Likewise, the development of e-mail pitches and press releases takes a similar deft touch.   But don’t leave distribution out of the picture.  If your organization wants to increase inbound web site traffic, acquire new followers, find new audiences and earn some media along the way, broad outbound distribution of your messages via a service like PR Newswire will deliver measurable results.

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: 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.

 

PR is 80% more effective than content marketing.

Source: InPowered & Neilsen

Source: InPowered & Nielsen

According to a recent study sponsored by InPowered and conducted by Nielsen, content marketing is 88% less effective than public relations, due in large part to the outsize influence earned media wields over the public.    According to the study, earned media – defined as content created by credible third party experts – consistently provided more benefit to brands than did user generated or branded content.

Credibility is the key

The stat is interesting for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is the simple fact that marketers are very good at measuring outcomes, something that PR has continued struggle with. The fact that Nielsen has identified the potent effect of credible third-party mentions has upon potential customers across the various stages of the buying cycle should make PR measurement mavens sit up and take note.

With all the conversation about, investment in and discussion of content marketing over the last few years, one has to wonder exactly what makes PR efforts so much more valuable in terms of driving business than content marketing campaigns.

The answer is credibility.  It’s devilishly hard to produce branded content that is truly credible.  The content brands publish (even this little blog post!) all have underlying agendas, and sometimes, those agendas aren’t too thinly veiled.

Earned media & influence 

Earned media, on the other hand, is widely perceived as being more credible and authentic.  Therein are the keys to its influence – and that’s where public relations can really shine. PR practitioners understand influence, how it accrues and from where it flows. PR pros understand the subtleties of the story and how to wrap information in context that makes sense to an audience.

It’s little wonder that PR is behind the blockbuster headlines, viral videos and other content that fills our newsfeeds and floats to the top of search engine results.

Marketing tactics PR should steal 

All that said, as a content marketer myself, I do believe that there are opportunities for PR to steal some important tactics from the content marketing toolbox.  Digital marketers test and refine messages continually, and have developed a range of best practices for developing web-based cntent that works, and other communicators can borrow those tactics to improve their own campaigns.

Designing press releases and other content with reader actions in mind is one such recommendation.  Think of it this way: every piece of content your brand issues online- press releases, blog posts, articles, backgrounders, etc. — becomes a web page. That specific web page can be seen in search engines and  shared on social networks. When that page captures the fleeting attention of a visitor, your organization has the opportunity to communicate powerfully and personally with that person. Within that moment, you have their attention and with it, the opportunity to channel their next actions.

Marketers obsess over this opportunity to drive audience action: they test different scenarios and obsessively tweak language and layout to determine what works best. While it’s not reasonable to think that we have the opportunity to send 25 different versions of the same press release to see which generates the best results, we can definitely take some broad best practices from digital markers and apply them to our messages.

Those tactics are detailed in the recent blog post titled “Extreme Makover: Press Release Edition,” and the slide deck embedded above.

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the ebook  New School Press Release TacticsFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

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!

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

Extreme Makeover: Press Release Edition

pr makeoverA colleague and I recently re-tooled a traditional press release into an entirely new type of message.  The goal of the message was to acquire new audience for a blog, in the context of promoting a live event.

We sliced through the copy, turning the most interesting fact we could find into the headline and moving brand and event info down the page.  The rationale? The headline has to first and foremost attract attention, but it has to do more.  It has to arrest readers and induce them to click and open the story.

Focus on why the message is important to readers, not what the brand is doing. 

All the branding and positioning in the world do little if the message isn’t consumed, so we moved the brand introduction (“XYZ, a leading provider of ….”) out of the lead, and instead focused on building reader interest.   We did this by focusing more on explaining why the event was important and interesting (provocative topics with lots of experts) versus what the brand was doing (holding the event.)

Offer one link as a call to action for readers 

I see lots of releases that start with a URL link to the company home page right at the beginning of the lede, an exercise which provides zero utility to the reader. Unless the home page strongly supports what the press release is about, chances are good that reader you just sent to your web site will leave immediately.

So in overhauling this particular release, we dialed back on the number of links. Instead of distracting readers with scads of links that in reality didn’t strongly support the key message of the release, we focused on just one link offering it as a call to action midway through the body of the release.

Results & how-to: 

The results were significant – engagement (as measured by reader interactions with content – e.g. click-throughs, shares, etc.) and total visibility were higher for this release than for all the others issued to promote the event, save one.

The breakdown of the makeover is included in the following deck, which was presented earlier this week on PR Newswire’s webinar (now available on demand) titled: Tactics for Maximizing the Results of Your Press Releases.

If you’ve been inspired to switch up your approach to (or uses for) press releases, I’d love to hear about it!  Post a note in the comments, and I’ll be sure to see it.

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the ebook  New School Press Release TacticsFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

Getting Press Release Readers to Take Action

Before-and-After-Page-Templates

Before and after landing page optimization results from MecLabs. Changes to how web pages are structured can significantly increase the results those pages generate.

Marketers know that slight tweaks to their web pages can deliver astonishing “lift” in the results those pages generate.  Moving a button to a different spot on the page and reducing the amount of text and other visual clutter increases the likelihood that page visitors will take the desired action, clicking on the primary call to action on the page. This is called ‘landing page optimization,’ and it’s an increasingly important field of digital marketing.  What’s the connection with PR? I’ll be talking about this in detail later today, on a webinar about new press release tactics.  (Join me, it’s free.  1 PM ET.  See you there?) but here’s the gist…

The press releases we issue become landing pages of a sort when they hit the wire and are distributed online.  They are hosted on thousands of web sites, and are the digital ambassadors for our brands, conveying messaging, branding, visuals and – importantly – links directly back to our web sites.

New press release outcomes 

As a result, many organizations are using releases to generate more than media coverage.  Driving social interactions that lead to improved search engine results is one potent new outcome for which brands are using the distribution of content.  Promoting content – such as blog posts and white papers – is something else we’re seeing more brands do with online news releases.   Generating leads and direct sales (such as app downloads and event registrations) is a third use of news releases we’re increasingly seeing.

Formatting press releases to encourage readers to take action

f map

Jakob Neilsen of the Neilsen Norman Group is the grandfather of online user experinece (“UX”) research, and has devoted considerable time to researching how people read content online.  His conclusion – people don’t actually read content online the same way they read long-form print. Instead of methodically reading each line, online readers scan content, using an F shaped pattern, spending more time at the top of the page, and then scanning the left side.

PR pros penning press releases can utilize this research to create more effective content.  When formatting news releases and other content destined to be distributed online, writers should pay attention to the following tips, taken straight from Neilsen himself in the article titled, “F Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content:”

The F pattern’s implications for Web design are clear and show the importance of following the guidelines for writing for the Web instead of repurposing print content:

  • Users won’t read your text thoroughly in a word-by-word manner. Exhaustive reading is rare, especially when prospective customers are conducting their initial research to compile a shortlist of vendors. Yes, some people will read more, but most won’t.
  • The first two paragraphs must state the most important information. There’s some hope that users will actually read this material, though they’ll probably read more of the first paragraph than the second.
  • Start subheads, paragraphs, and bullet points with information-carrying words that users will notice when scanning down the left side of your content in the final stem of their F-behavior. They’ll read the third word on a line much less often than the first two words.”

It’s no surprise that the inverted pyramid of news writing and search engine optimization best practices also offer similar advice in terms of placing key information at the top of the page and using bullets and bold text to highlight information for readers.  Many press release writers, however, ignore this advice, instead loading lead paragraphs with long-winded boilerplate and hiding key messages deep within blocks of text.

I think it’s time to put our messages under the microscope.  We need to tune our press releases for our readers, not allowing competing egos or “the way we’ve always done it,” to add barriers to message effectiveness.

Learn New Tactics to Improve Press Release Results 

If you’d like to update your press release tactics, view our free on-demand webinar titled “Tactics for Maximizing Press Release Results.”

Learn how to create press releases that can compete with the best of the web’s content for audience attention. This webinar dives deep into press release tactics, including:

  • Writing headlines that do more than just grabbing attention – they inspire action
  • How to construct your news release copy to channel the interest of your readers
  • Strategies for optimizing content for maximum search engine benefit for your brand

Register 
Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the ebook  New School Press Release TacticsFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

26% of Press Releases Aren’t Optimized for the Digital Environment

PRN-Pulse-Poll_Release-Change_Feb2014Despite the explosion of digital media and the importance of online readership and search engine visibility, more than a quarter of respondents to an informal poll by PR Newswire report they have not changed their press release tactics.

The majority of respondents indicate they are updating their approach to how they write and structure their news release content.  The most popular tactics employed are embedding links that enable readers to either hop straight to a selected web page or encourage social engagement.

Incorporating visuals – the most effective means of driving press release visibility – is also an increasing popular tactic employed by PR teams.  As social networks and search engines continue to increase their emphasis on visual content, using visuals will continue to be an important and effective tactic.

Search optimization tactics continue to stymie press release writers, largely because the rapid pace of change employed by the search engines makes keeping pace with best practices a challenge.  (Related: 4 Keys to Creating Search Friendly Content.)

Learn New Tactics to Improve Press Release Results 

If you’d like to update your press release tactics, view our free, on-demand webinar titled “Tactics for Maximizing Press Release Results.”

Learn how to create press releases that can compete with the best of the web’s content for audience attention. This webinar will dive deep into press release tactics, including:

  • Writing headlines that do more than just grabbing attention – they inspire action
  • How to construct your news release copy to channel the interest of your readers
  • Strategies for optimizing content for maximum search engine benefit for your brand

Register 
Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the ebook  New School Press Release TacticsFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

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

Want More Prospects? New Audiences? Online Visibility? You Need News Releases.

One minutes' worth of tweets of PR Newswire press releases.  Click the image to see the live Twitter feed.

One minutes’ worth of tweets of PR Newswire press releases. Click the image to see the live Twitter feed.  In addition to building audience, social shares of content (including press releases) can benefit search rank.

Does your brand need to acquire more prospects? Does your organization need to reach new potential members or donors?  Are you promoting an event that needs more participants?  Is visibility in search engines important for your organization’s web site? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you might want to consider news releases as part of your communications arsenal.

Here’s why.

Services like PR Newswire reach far beyond newsrooms.  When we distribute your content, it will be seen on hundreds –if not thousands—of web sites that re-post PR Newswire content.    Across the web, those messages build awareness of your message and brand.   But that’s not all they do.

Free Webinar:Press Release Tactics to Maximize Results – Feb 26 

Each of those postings turns your press release into a portal straight back to your organizations web site, providing a mechanism for your organization to capture the interest generated by the press release and turn it into action, such as registering for an event, downloading a white paper, engaging with more related content on your web site, or sharing the content socially.

But here’s the catch.  The content your brand issues  actually has to be interesting and useful to your audiences.  You can’t phone in anything you create for the organization you represent that’s destined to live online, press releases included.  Every scrap of content our brands publish – Tweets, blog posts, videos, web site copy and, yes, press releases – become digital ambassadors for our brands.  They better represent us well.lil tweet  Because in addition to influencing audiences, social signals influence search engines.  Social proof is weighed heavily in the algorithms that determine search rank.

Here are a few tips for writing press releases that will generate awareness among new audiences and ongoing online visibility for your brand.

Write from the audience perspective, not the brand’s. Instead of loading the headline and lead with phrasing such as “XYZ Corp, a leading provider of gobbledy-gook, today announced the unveiling of a new something-or-other …” writers need to lead with information that the audience will value.   The press release needs to be written in the audience’s context – how the announcement will make their lives better, solve their problems or save their companies money.

Include a call to action toward the top of your message.  If you have succeeded in garnering a reader’s attention, capitalize on that immediately by giving them a link to follow that will take them directly to a related page on your web site.  Do not squander interest by making your readers read to the end of the copy, only to find a link to the company’s homepage.

Use news releases do drive discovery of the content your organization publishes.  If you’re using a blog post to provide additional commentary on an unfolding industry development, use a press release to promote that post.   If your organization has invested in the creation of a video or a white paper,  drive online visibility for that new asset and alert more people to its availability by issuing a press release about the content.  The trick to success with this tactic is to include one or two key bits of information in the message.   You have to give the readers a little value to entice them to click over to the full content.

If you’re not convinced of the power of press releases, consider the following:

How one of our customers used press releases to promote his company’s expert sources and generate qualified leads.

Why newswires work: the results of a little experiment I did with press releases in November that (to date) has garnered more than 1,300 new readers to the related blog posts.

How content distribution drives message visibility.

I’m not saying one should choose issuing press releases over other tactics.  Far from it.  A hammer will never replace a screwdriver.  Both are important tools, but both have specific functions.  Communicators today need to be thinking in terms of multi-channel, multi-platform communications.  That means deploying a mix of different messages and across channels and audiences, in order to build maximum relevant exposure for brand content.

Want more examples and ideas? I’m hosting a free webinar on February  26 about press release tactics.  It’s going to be a deep dive into the nitty-gritty of headline writing, press release formatting, ways to keep building reader interest, incorporating calls to action for different audiences, encouraging social interaction…you get the picture.  Here are the details:

FREE WEBINAR: Tactics for Maximizing the Results of Your Press Releases 

Press releases have the potential to yield enormous benefits for an organization, including building online visibility and driving long-term brand exposure in addition to securing media coverage. But in order to obtain these results, the news release your organization publishes must be engaging, conducive, and inspire social sharing.  Learn how to create press releases that can compete with the best of the web’s content for audience attention on this free webinar.

REGISTER 

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the ebooks Driving Content Discovery and  New School Press Release Tactics.  Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

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.