Does this time of year make you stop and reflect on long summer breaks, popsicles, beach balls and days at the pool? On especially warm days, we might think back to the packed water of the local pool and reflect on the games that captured our competitive spirit.
At the time, games seemed like nothing more than a way to pass time and compare battle scars from belly flops to chicken fights. What we might have learned is that the game strategies learned at the pool have lessons which span far beyond summer break.
Here are 4 games some of us might have played as kids and how they can connect to improving press release initiatives.
Remember when we would all start moving in a circular direction to create a whirlpool effect. The collective energy of our group was such that we could pick up our feet and ride the momentum.
These same laws of physics hold true when distributing content online. If you create content and stop at publishing on your own website, you are essentially trying to create a one-person whirlpool. Sharing content through multiple channels is an effective way to ride the wave of those who have already amassed an audience. Think social networks and press release distribution services.
2. CannonballsWhen creating content for distribution, it’s good practice to know your surroundings before diving in. Just like you don’t want to cannonball next to a toddler floating in a rubber duck; you also don’t want to share content without knowing who else is making waves.
As you create content plans for upcoming releases, take the time to think through thefollowing:
Recent Announcements made by competitors. A quick peek at their newsroom, or search for their name on press release distribution sites like the PRWeb newsroom can ensure you know what they are up to
Industry Updates. Perhaps a new industry regulation or news article is getting significant media play. The addition of this information to your content may give additional context and credibility – like newsjacking. Or the absence of it may be conspicuous.
3. Marco Polo
For those of us who want to win in the game of online PR, we should always strive to approach the game from a strategic vantage point.
When we played Marco Polo, we didn’t repeatedly call out ‘Marco’ on auto-pilot. Rather, I called out and then listened for key triggers such as responses, water movement and those oh-so-losing heavy breathers.
Based on feedback to a call-out, we listen for the effect and adjust strategy as needed to ensure a win.
Wanting to win so badly, can cause scenarios where organizations include every message in a single release, creating noisy waves. To be effective, avoid bundling all your messages into a single release. Rather, segment messages, deploy across channels, pause, listen, react and dialogue and then consider your next move. Think longtail.
4. Ring Toss
As you master games 1, 2 and 3, smart marketers quickly realize that in order to receive the best results they also need to master a 4th game.
As they throw rings in the pool, they make sure they aren’t playing alone. Someone is always there to dive in and bring the rings to the top.
Media Ring. When conceiving and scheduling message distribution, ensure your media contacts are relevant and related to the opportunities you are considering. Easy ways to maximize media and social play include:
- Preparing a list of relevant media contacts that correspond with the concept
- Draft sample questions and answers
- Block off time on spokesperson calendar for potential interviews
- Make sure those who monitor and engage socially are aware of the release
- Listen and monitor for comment
- Be ready to engage, ask and answer questions
Childhood water games have done a surprisingly good job at preparing us for digital PR. And while we may not long for the water, my aquatic interests have not totally faded away.
Photo credit: Flickr
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