Dec 29, 2022 / in press releaseBest Practices / by Glenn Frates

Looking back at the press releases that received the most attention this year – and why.

multimedia elements from 2022 press releases
Multimedia from 2022 press releases. Photos by Farmers' AlmanacPet Poison Helpline, FORTUNEPepsiCo and DeLorean Motor Company


'Tis the season for reflecting on the hot topics and happenings that defined 2022. Here at Cision PR Newswire, we find that the press releases that come across our newswire – and how they perform – say a lot about what news audiences want to know about and the subjects they gravitate toward.

This year, Cision PR Newswire saw a content-rich, seasonal-driven (quarterly earnings, holiday shopping, trade shows) news channel, affected over the last 12 months by continued Covid concerns, inflation and possible recession worries, as well as an increase in ESG messaging. 

10 of the Most-Viewed Stories on PR Newswire in 2022  

  1. Elon Musk to Acquire Twitter: The most-read story of the year on prnewswire.com, and still a storyline topping newsfeeds day to day as 2022 comes to an end.
    What made this release stand out: Certainly the name recognition of the world’s most famous billionaire, combined with one of the biggest social media platforms helped. (A short, to-the-point headline didn’t hurt, either.)

  2.  Golden Retriever Poisoned by Thanksgiving Bread Rolls: From Pet Poison Helpline, this headline quickly made its way into the Top 10 ‘most viewed’ on prnewswire.com.
    What made this release stand out: This announcement was unique in that it took a storytelling approach in its release (notice how the brand isn’t mentioned at all in the headline), which served to capture the attention and curiosity of pet lovers everywhere. Including multimedia – an image of the story’s protagonist, Pippa the dog (who survived, FYI) – was also a smart move on Pet Poison Helpline’s part. 

  3. Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company's Online Pharmacy Launches with Lowest Prices on 100 Lifesaving Prescriptions: An early-year story that continues to garner views months later.
    What made this release stand out: As discussed in an earlier article about this release’s success, this has all the hallmarks of a well-crafted press release: An attention-getting headline and informative subhead, strategic formatting, multimedia, executive quotes and more.

  4. Bank of America Introduces Community Affordable Loan Solution™ to Expand Homeownership Opportunities in Black/African American and Hispanic-Latino Communities
    What made this release stand out: Distributed both in English and Spanish, this 2022 top story did a great job of incorporating strong keywords in its headline and subhead, among other best practices. 

  5. Voyager Digital Provides Market Update
    What made this release stand out: This release underscores the importance of keeping your audience informed even – and especially – in times of bad weather, as inquiring minds clearly wanted to know what Voyager was doing to navigate a particularly stormy situation.

  6. Altos Labs launches with the goal to transform medicine through cellular rejuvenation programming
    What makes this release stand out: The headline alone is enough to make audiences far and wide want to click through and know more, but the subheads provide added context – and intrigue – around the famous names joined in this initiative. (Earned coverage for his story was strong, as well, including this Popular Mechanics story: Jeff Bezos Is Paying For a Way to Make Humans Immortal

  7. DeLorean Announces New Reveal Date With Teaser Image
    What makes this release stand out: Who doesn’t love a cliffhanger? This curiosity-invoking headline tempts readers to click inside to see that “teaser image.”

  8. Fortune Announces 2022 Fortune 500 List
    What makes this release stand out: The famous list is always a yearly top story that attracts multiple target audiences’ interest. 

  9. Are you ready to Shake, Shiver, and Shovel? Farmers' Almanac Releases an Extreme Winter Forecast
    What makes this release stand out: A great twist on the traditional headline, in addition to being seasonal/relevant. The release also includes eye-catching imagery, and the content is structured for easy reading. 

  10.  The J. M. Smucker Co. Issues Voluntary Recall of Select Jif® Products Sold in the U.S. for Potential Salmonella Contamination
    What makes this release stand out: The PR Newswire network is utilized for many reasons – it serves as a strong platform to announce company news, launch a new product, garner interest in an event – the list goes on. For J. M. Smucker here, it’s a channel to quickly raise widespread awareness on an important product update (and get ahead of a potential crisis). 

The takeaway: While brand name recognition can certainly boost interest in a release, what ultimately makes a high-performing press release are the tried-and-true best practices – including, but not limited to: a curiosity-invoking headline, good formatting, engaging multimedia, quotes from credible sources and, of course, newsworthy content to begin with!  

The Biggest Trending Topics of 2022

Another best practice for creating a captivating press release: Staying ahead of the trends that most interest and affect your target audiences – and tying it back to your brand’s story in a way that is timely, relevant and meaningful.

Let’s look at the topics that were top of mind for audiences this year, as evidenced by some of the highest-viewed releases on prnewswire.com, and how brands responded.

Three of the top inflation-related stories of the year

Many brands, aware of growing consumer concerns around inflation, took the opportunity to provide consumers with relief in the form of discounts or empowering audiences with information.

Three of the top holiday-related stories of the year

The holiday season always presents ample opportunity for brands to capture the attention of audiences – whether by announcing a new, seasonal product, a holiday promotion or an opportunity to join the fun.

Three of the top ESG-related stories of the year

Environmental, Social and Governance continues to be top of mind for both organizations and their stakeholders, as evidenced by the many companies releasing ESG reports and status updates or pledging their commitment to ESG initiatives.

That's a wrap for this year! For more best practices around creating high-performing press releases, check out The Ultimate Toolkit for Getting Your Press Release Noticed

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About Glenn Frates

Glenn Frates is Regional Vice President of U.S. Distribution at Cision. Glenn’s 20+ years experience in content distribution and best practices, global marketing strategies and large-scale operations management has provided him a broad perspective on what does and doesn’t work well in the Marketing/PR arena.