Nine neat ways to recover from a bum news release
By: Veronica Magee & Renée Cormier
It happens all the time; and these days, more than ever. You send out a news release and it falls flat. You go through your PR checklist: the content was newsworthy, grammatically flawless, written in CP style and distributed to all the right media. With no ROI to show for your efforts, you’re feeling deflated and slightly worried about what your boss or client might say. They are paying for results and expect you to deliver.
You’ve just been presented with a challenge, but more importantly, an opportunity is at hand. Turn it around and look at the problem/challenge another way. Did you realize that you can re-purpose that content in different ways? Creatively re-purposing your news release will allow you to drive your messages/stories to your target audience without the use of traditional media. Effectively, you can be your own media!
Today’s reality is that social media and internet search are the primary ways people get their news. Therefore, traditional media is no longer the only way (or the best way) to reach your audience. In fact, it’s often a lot more efficient to use social media and your own website to propel news about your company. Just make sure your company has a social media presence in the places your customers would normally go and really make a strong effort to engage and develop your followers. Also, make sure your content links back to your website, so people can find you.
Here are some interesting ways to refashion your news releases:
- Pod-casting: According to an Edison Research survey, there are almost as many people regularly listening to podcasts as there are people listening to AM/ FM radio, and the number has been steadily rising. If you consider all the mediums available for accessing the internet, you will see that pod-casting is a pretty cool way to send out a message. In fact, you can even buy automobiles with internet connectivity capability, so you can now listen to podcasts while you drive.
- Convert your story to a PowerPoint: PowerPoint presentations present two opportunities to share content about your company’s newest developments. PowerPoint presentations can be posted on Slideshare and accessed through your different social media channels. You can also save a PowerPoint as an MPEG4 Video that can be posted on YouTube. YouTube gives you further editing options so you can add royalty free music, if you don’t have any of your own.
- Info-graphics: Info-graphics allow you to provide quick snippets of information about your product or services. Go to http://piktochart.com/ to get free templates for social media distribution. Also, consider adding an info-graphic to your next brochure or sales sheet.
- PDF e-booklets or white papers: These are another way to get information out to the public. Free downloads that are shareable are best. Make the first one accessible without an email address and then offer another within the written content that requires an email to download. This way, people will happily share your content and you will be able to collect the email addresses of people who are super interested in what you have to offer!
- Blog post or a series of posts around the topic: Blogs are a great way to demonstrate your expertise. A Google+ blog (Blogger) that is linked to your website will drive lots of traffic. Check out the Blogger Feed at reneecormier.com for an example of this!
- Visually communicate the message/story on Pinterest or Instagram: A picture paints a thousand words. Turn your news into a meme, because if there is a way to tell your news with a picture, Instagram and Pinterest are great communication tools. Both of these websites are gaining popularity at warp speed, so take advantage of this opportunity. Instagram is limited to cell phone apps, so it may not be as convenient as Pinterest.
- Excerpts: You can always include snippets of your release in posts on your organization’s Facebook page. People like a quick read these days, so a couple of lines may be all you need.
- Google+: This medium provides a lot of opportunity to businesses, especially when you consider that Google is the most widely used search engine. Anything published there is more easily picked up during a search. Post your news to relevant groups, follow people to get followed back, and start a group to capture your private audience. As with all other types of social media, do communicate with your followers by liking and sharing their content and be sure to respond to comments people make on your postings.
- BeBee: Bebee is an affinity based social network which allows writers to get at least ten times more views, shares and comments on content than other sites like Twitter and LinkedIn do.
- Host a webinar: Webinars are a great teaching tool. Capitalize on the opportunity to give your customers the power to make informed choices. Record your webinar and post it on your site to extend your reach even further.
Whatever you do to develop your content, don’t just copy and paste the same info from your news release into the new medium. Creativity is important. If you are having trouble creating great content, Renée and Veronica can develop excellent content and even help extend your reach through social media content distribution.
Renée Cormier is a Public Relations & Communications professional, published author, sales and marketing strategist, and a constant creator of quality content. When you need help with your marketing communications or public relations campaigns contact Renée Cormier through her website: www.reneecormier.com.
Veronica Magee is a Marketing Communications and Public Relations professional with expertise in the healthcare field. She occasionally partners on projects at www.reneecormier.com. Connect with Veronica on Linkedin! https://ca.linkedin.com/in/veronicamagee
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