Looking at high-performing press releases from October & other trends for PR pros to know
Here at Cision, we find that clients who take a data-driven approach to their press release creation and distribution strategy perform well. In this series, we aim to provide insight into press releases that are making waves on the wire and in the media – and the reason behind it.
Take a look at some of the highest performing press releases from the last month and consider which tactics they’re using that you can apply to – and use to enhance – your own press release strategy.
October's Highest Viewed Press Releases on PR Newswire Included:
- Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, to acquire Parler platform
- Sony Electronics Launches its First Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids in the US and Makes Hearing…
- Kawasaki Engines Unveils Evo, The Next Evolution In Engines
- Hawaiian Airlines Announces Agreement with Amazon to Operate Freighter Aircraft
- Pizza Hut Launches New Category and Product, MELTS, and They're Not for Sharing!
- All five releases include an action word in the headline (“acquire,” “launches,” “unveils,” “announces” and “launches”). We know from years of analysis of the press releases that cross PRNewswire – headlines that include action words typically perform better than headlines without them.
- All five releases include compelling multimedia elements that break up the text, provide more context in an engaging visual element, and make it easy for the media to grab and include in their coverage.
- Speaking of multimedia…all also include their logo (yes, that counts as multimedia!) – taking advantage of an additional branding opportunity.
- All releases are formatted strategically to draw the reader in, using elements like bolded headlines to break up the text, shorter paragraphs, and bulleted copy that highlights key takeaways.
- These releases also capitalized on executive quotes (which I discussed in more detail in last month’s wrap-up) for added credibility and thought leadership, and embedded links with calls to action to “continue the conversation” with audiences on other platforms.
- Finally, these brands know the importance of including media contact information, making it easy for journalists and other stakeholders to connect for follow up questions and interview requests.
An example of well-used multimedia in a press release. Photo courtesy of Pizza Hut.
Trending topics and keywords for PR pros to know:
In addition to looking at which press releases got high engagement and understanding the “why” behind their performance, it’s also important to look at the trending topics across our wires. Staying ahead of trends is key to creating compelling press releases that speak to what audiences are reacting to and engaging with.
- “Inflation” was referenced 868 times throughout press releases in October, up from 779 mentions in September. Example here: S&P Global Market Intelligence 2023 financial institutions outlook says Fed's efforts to tame inflation proves double-edged sword
- “Holiday” was plugged 430 times in October versus 225 in September. Check out this Target release for one of many examples.
- “Web3/metaverse” showed up in 481 October releases versus 446 in September. Check out how even Cheetos® is getting in on the Metaverse game
Surprising Trend of the Month: The Unbranded Headline
Finally, I wanted to point out a few other press releases that caught my – and many, many others’ – attention: Press releases where the client led with the story and NOT their brand. This unique approach can be an effective use of the newswire to increase visibility and impact future discoverability – when executed well.
“When executed well” is the operative term here. When consulting with clients who want to use this approach, we always remind them to keep two things in mind:
Make sure you lead with compelling keywords/phrases and relevant, high quality content.
Don’t just delve into a generic company business update; answer the question for your reader: “Why should I care about this news?”
Three such examples from last month include:
- Discounts at the Top of Shoppers Wish List this Holiday Season (from Oracle)
- 6 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Winter (Erie Insurance)
- Top 4 Fall Driving Hazards (Erie Insurance again)