The Press Release Era is Dead. Now What?
I can’t tell you how many times a client/potential client has called asking me to write and distribute a press release. Five years ago I would happily oblige, but those days have come and gone. It’s my job to inform my clients of how the public relations field has evolved and to offer the latest practices in the industry. Don’t get me wrong… if a press release is what a client really wants, we can make it happen. But there are trendier alternatives to getting the news out:
- Social Media – Not only is social media constantly evolving, but it’s also one of the cheapest forms of communication. A lot of reporters and influencers are now using the Twitter feed to find their next story. Not a press release. Stay on top of trends, take advantage of hashtags and make them relevant to your company.
- Build Relationships – So the days of the press release might be done, but that doesn’t mean the tradition of pitching a reporter is. Find reporters and social media influencers that focus on your industry and get to know them. What kinds of stories do they tell? How do they want to be pitched? Is it an email or a short text? What about a phone call? Once you figure these things out, you will have the capability of picking an exclusive to a reporter and getting the most out of your story.
- Online Newsroom – Why not create your own newsroom? This could be your version of a blog that is consistently updated with news that is relevant to your followers. If your newsroom is updated with relevant and important information on a regular basis, you will get people to your site. It’s vital to throw industry news into the mix though. Don’t always make it just about your company. This isn’t a sales tool, it’s an informational tool.
- Visual Marketing – Let’s face it. We are a visual world. People don’t want to read 1,000’s of words anymore to get the latest and greatest news. Visual storytelling is one of the trendiest ways to get your news across. Try and think of a way to take a photo to the next level. Create a funny meme. Would an infographic work? Whatever the direction, just make sure it is graphically appealing and easy to understand.
- Video – Who doesn’t love a good video? You can tell your news in a 60 second video and people don’t have to read a thing? It’s a no brainer! Not only can you can add footage over the voiceover to make the story more appealing, but you are also providing news reporters soundbites and potentially useable footage — which means less work for them. It’s a win, win situation.
But, no matter how you go about pitching your story, there’s always one thing to remember. Your news HAS to be newsworthy. Make your story compelling, create an opportunity for some friendly banter and people will read your news!