In 2009 Annual Conference, Monday

FPRA Annual Conference

In this session, Laura Sturaitis with Business Wire shared strategies for ensuring that your press release gets maximum exposure with your target audiences.  Sturaitis mentioned that you create and distribute a press release, but your readers may use all of it or only parts of it.  Keep in mind that parts of your release, may be embedded, downloaded, and shared in ways that are specific to that user.  It’s important to create a release that is flexible enough to be useful in a number of ways.  Sturaitis doesn’t see the need for a special format for social media releases (as has been pushed over the last couple of years) but rather an awareness of all the ways your release may be used after you distribute.

Here are the tools of our job you know and love:

  • Online Newsroom
  • Press Release
  • Your Company’s Web Site
  • Media Relations
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Reputation & Crisis Management

We still are doing all the same things, but we are doing them with a broader audience via social media.  In this environment, we find evangelists…and detractors.

Social Media is all about putting the PUBLIC back into public relations.

When has PR not been social?

  • Online newsroom: all press releases on the website.
  • The Press Release – online web page – Think of the press release as a portal doc.
  • Your company’s web site – traffic & ROI
  • Media Relations: Content & Links – Links are critical.
  • Public Relations- Direct Customer & Social Media
  • Marketing Campaigns – Keywords & Tags
  • Crisis Management – Ranking & Reach

The press release has always been social.

3Es:

Enhance the release:

  • Make sure it looks good and identifies you.
  • Optimize with formatting, links, keywords, multi media and branding.

Expand your Posting, Delivery & Reach

  • PUSH with the wire,
  • POST with our optimized newsroom
  • PULL with RSS, social media & your blog.

Evaluate and measure

  • What keywords are potential customers using to find you?
  • Your keywords and your release should reflect Relevancy &Recency.(timeliness)
  • After 28 days it’s gone and off Google news. This is where your keywords come in, readers will be able to find you after this point via your keywords.

According to OneStat, more than half of all internet searches consist of 203 words.

  • Single word – 15 %
  • Two words – 32%
  • Three words – 27%
  • Four words – 15%

“Ikea Charlotte” – Use geographic identifiers when possible.

Reinforce a keyword in:

  • the headline/logo
  • in the body of the release
  • in the caption

Use bullets and bolding in an easy to read format

If you use multimedia, include all links available in all different resolutions.

It should be:

  • Ready to share.
  • Ready to embed.
  • Ready to download.

The Social Media Release

Makes sure all the content with relevant links are present in the release itself. (not just a caption)

One of the hallmarks of the SMR is visual. The text is taken out of prose and broken out into bullet points. The Social Media Release is a deconstructed release for easier reading.

In creating a SMR, ask yourself:

  • How user friendly is it?
  • Can it be printed?
  • Can it be downloaded?

Have your subscribe links for readers nearby.

Some news orgs that BusinessWire delivers to strips out live links. So include the URL so readers will have that content.

Offer as many ways that make it easier for others to share.

If you can create release tags, go ahead and do it.

Not all of them do it, but since some of them do, go ahead and put in the URL so that readers can find you. (The presenter frequently repeated “this doesn’t work all the time but why not do it for the when it does?” She underscored the fact that readers use your release  differently and the more you know about how they use your material, the more flexible your release needs to be.

ROI is created by:

  • Print, broadcast & trade coverage
  • Online visibility
  • Straight up sales or action
  • Disclosure and building authority

Sturaitis touched on the concerns surrounding corporate blogging. If it is being done, be sure to focus on the people behind the corporation. Blogging is about people. There are risks. The benefits are that your fans, employees and customer become your evangelists.

There is no way to control the conversation as there used to be. Everything now is geared towards conversation.

Other suggestions in general:

If you are posting your own releases, wait until it has posted online and then post that credentialed piece on your social book marking site.

Identify your keywords and phrases and then use them everywhere.

Use google analytics to verify the usefulness of your keywords.

Add formatting links and multimedia to your release.

Figure out the best page to link to on your site.

You can get a flip camera for $100. This enables you to take images right away.

Set up accounts on social media sites to provide resources and check keywords and tags.

Identify the online influencers and social networks to engage with new audiences.

Watch your ranking measurement reports and website analytics to see how people are finding you and how traffic is moving thru your site. Then evaluate and adjust.

Q & A from audience:

  • What about release forms for images for social media of our customers?
  • You need release forms for everyone in the photo.
  • What about theme parks?
  • Have something printed that includes a statement, i.e., With this ticket, you have given your consent to be included of photos that may be taken that day and include you.
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