Accelerate Your Press ReleasesYou’ve created and distributed your press release, but now what? Well, social media can take it to the next level. Cassie Pean, PR manager at Vocus was our guest on #PRWebchat this week and talked about some ways to put the pedal to the metal when it comes to online news releases:

Brand spankin’ new tactics

Use hashtags (“#_____”) and Twitter handles (“@_____”) in the headline of your release to promote sharing and make your news viral. One of our clients, Cheryl Lawson told us about her success using this tactic recently. Check out these analytics for her press release that had this hashtagged headline “#Tweet4Toys Taps Twitter in Social Media for Social Good Campaign”:

Tweet 4 Toys

It seems a little informal to use characters like the # and @ in your release but it makes it much more visible online. Don’t forget, the press release is evolving and becoming more social. It’s not cookie-cutter anymore.

Also, Including QR codes in your press release to lead to interactive sites is also a great new tactic. Here’s a beginners guide on how to use QR codes and a resource for creating them.


Using video in press releases

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then video is worth millions. It’s a great way to engage your audience, drive traffic and tell a better story. A study we did concluded that multimedia increases time on page by an average of about 30 seconds. It can be as easy as purchasing a flip cam and uploading the video to YouTube. Not expensive at all! But don’t forget creativity and cleverness raises the viral potential of video. Here’s an example of a quick video we did for PRWebwith a flip cam that is interesting and informative:

No photos? No problem!

If you don’t have good photos but want to include multimedia in your release to make it more attractive, try adding PDFs, whitepapers or scanned documents. PRWeb releases allow you to do so and then display in the side bar. Flickr Creative Commons is also a great place to get photos but make sure they relate and don’t look too much like “stock images.” Make sure the photo adds value to your release. You can use Flickr’s Creative Commons photos as long as you provide attribution and a link back to the artist. I little free photo editing software can do wonders—even Instagram makes photos cooler.

Video & image content are the most visible types of content in Google searches, according to Search Engine Land.

The moral? Every company needs to be a media company.

Sharing your release

Social Media Sharing ToolsShare your release on your preferred social networking platforms. Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Bookmark it to StumbleUpon. You get the idea. Also, make sure there are social sharing buttons on your release to make it easy for others to spread your news.

Share it over a period of time that you specify (your campaign length) and modify some of the information each time you share it. Be creative with the title to entice the reader. It’s not about “throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks”—posting your release where your target audience is definitely key. Making your content timely, useful and interesting will make it propagate on its own.

The media is using social media now to look for story ideas as well. So use relevant hashtags when tweeting and join industry groups on Facebook and Twitter. Blanket releases are a no-go. Targeting the appropriate outlets and demographics is a must. It’s all about doing your homework: analyze, optimize and distribute on relevance.

Blogging and Press Sections on Your Website

Don’t copy and paste a press release into your blog—it’s bad for SEO. Search engines don’t like duplicate content! Instead, summarize your release into a blog post. You can also link to the release from your blog to drive traffic. We suggest having a “Press” section on your site for releases, and an actual blog as well.

Extending the life of your press release online

Archive your release in your online news room and engage in some targeted blogger outreach. The better your SEO, the longer it will last as well. Change up some of the content, change the markets it is sent to, repackage the content and make discussion around it online by asking questions. Refining the message breathes life into the story.

Photo Credit- Flickr Creative Commons: Pavel Tcholakov

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About Annemaria Nicholson

Annemaria Nicholson is the North American Director of Content Marketing and Social Media at Cision. She drives go-to-market content, blog and social strategy for multiple brands and loves to experiment with interactive and multimedia content to better engage and inspire audiences. Her innovative content programs helped Cision place as a finalist at the 2016 Content Marketing Institute Awards and turned the marketing department from a cost center into a revenue center. As a direct result of her content strategy, the business was able to move the needle on key business KPIs.

As Head of Content, Annemaria has a strong track record of creating high quality multimedia content, blog posts, tip sheets, videos, instructional content, case studies and more to create great customer experiences. She revolutionized Cision’s outbound promotion efforts to amplify its inbound lead generation results by creating a multichannel program that promotes content via additional, complementary and unique content to drive discoverability, search rank, audience awareness, credibility, and ultimately more leads and revenue for the business.