Ditch the Press Release if You’re Going for Audience Engagement

When you think about a press release, what comes to mind? Corporate jargon and unexciting news? Us, too.

Many PR practitioners as of late have shied away from the release, opting instead for a more tailored and engaging approach – both for the client’s target audience (the customers) and for the media. For some clients, however, the release has been seen as a tried and true method for delivering news and generating coverage. The question now remains – how do you demonstrate to your client (or yourself!) that your press release strategy needs a revamp? ROI.

In 2015, the average press release was only shared 18 times across nine social media platforms.

Think about your brand’s audience – including customers, prospects, shareholders, employees, media, etc. Include anyone and everyone that you’d want to hear news about your brand. Got that number? Now divide 18 by that number. That’s the percentage of people who care enough to share your news release.

So, what can you do to improve audience engagement with your news?

Influencer Outreach

Sending a canned press release to every “influencer” on your list will probably not yield the best results. Instead, start by honing in your research strategies. We developed the READ Framework to identify and score potential influencers. Want to take your research to the next level? Add in another layer of data analysis to determine who not only has a solid following, but active engagement. Once you’ve found your targets and personalized your message, now you’re ready to pitch. Putting in the time and effort up front helps take the guesswork out of your outreach strategy.

Make it Mobile 

If your content isn’t optimized for mobile, it will go nowhere. This isn’t news. Americans are consumed by their phones (I, for one, am guilty as charged). A recent study found 68 percent of Americans have smartphones; 45 percent have tablet computers. In addition, nearly two-thirds of Americans are active on social media. Want those active mobile users to share your brand’s message? You better make it easily read and distributed via mobile device.

Paid Social Strategy

If your audience is on social, develop a paid strategy to put your message in front of target audiences. We’ve talked about diminishing organic reach on social for what feels like forever on this blog, but it’s worth mentioning again. If you want your news to gain traction on social media, be prepared to allocate part of your marketing budget to digital advertising.

Keep in mind – paid promotion on social media doesn’t have to mean traditional ads. Did you get a great piece of coverage? Use social as a medium for syndication. You’ll extend the life of your media hit by putting it in front of new and relevant audiences.

Tori Sabourin
Senior Marketing Analyst

Download our new eBook, How Social Broke PR

Posted on December 23, 2015 in Press Release, Public Relations

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