The 2010s were a decade of disruption. Technological innovation led a wave of changes in the way we communicate, learn, interact and go about our lives, from the rising power of social media to the ever-changing algorithms that shaped search engines and SEO.
In the fast-paced environment of brand marketing, one message is as true as ever: Success means meeting the audience where they are and delivering the message that meets their needs. Fortunately, one of the best tools in your marketing tool belt may be one of the oldest: the humble news release.
Re-Inventing the Press Release
The press releases of the digital age aren’t limited to the cookie-cutter media alerts of the past. Changes in distribution and audience mean that it’s time to set aside your preconceived notions about what a press release should look like or what it must accomplish. It’s a new decade.
You have options:
- You can create a multimedia experience with photos, videos, downloadable PDF accompaniments, and even audio files. Journalists love having creative assets available at their fingertips when they’re covering a story, and end-user readers will be attracted by an eye-catching display that promises to deliver more than just static text.
- Take this idea a step further by generating a custom landing page to accompany your release. A multichannel news release combines traditional wire distribution with a one-of-a-kind, polished landing page that invites user engagement.
- When you know who your end audience is, you can attract their attention through targeted ads. Placed media uses social channels to get your news directly to the consumers who are interested in your message. The days of sending out a release and hoping journalists spread the news for you are over; brands are poised to take initiative in reaching their audiences directly.
News releases don’t have to be boring— and in 2020 and beyond, they shouldn’t be. Taking advantage of options to personalize your news and its distribution gives you the flexibility to adapt and evolve.
Why a Press Release?
If the trend in modern news releases is to turn away from tradition, why bother sending one at all? Why issue a release rather than posting to a blog or running ads?
Simply put: Because readers trust press releases.
The editorial standards applied by press release distribution companies help to create quality, informative content. This in turn brokers trust with journalists and end consumers alike.
According to a study from The Media Insight Project, "Trust is an important differentiator for building an audience."
The study researched ways that people receive their news and how audiences decide what news to believe. The most important factors for consumers are accuracy, timeliness, and clarity— they want breaking news that's easy to read and cuts to the chase. That is exactly where a press release excels.
Press releases enjoy multiple baked-in advantages to the modern marketer:
- The expanded distribution options allow you to target consumers and the media alike. While your existing ad campaigns and social media channels might do a great job of attracting customers, it’s unlikely you have a curated list of bloggers and journalists or a direct-access line to newsrooms around the country. Press release distribution can get your foot in the door in places you can’t reach yourself.
- Every press release tells a story in a specific, news-oriented way. The inverted triangle structure, which puts the facts front-and-center before exploring the details, makes it easy for busy audiences to catch the message. In a media environment dominated by clickbait, having your brand messaging laid out in a factual, timely and newsworthy narrative builds trust and authority.
- When you send out news on behalf of your brand, you’re taking an active role in the narrative of your company or organization. When you send out alerts, you help to shape not just the content but the tone of the news surrounding your company, and that is vital to maintaining brand identity and integrity.
As we move into the ‘20s, we can expect more changes to our world and our media; some predictable, others likely to take us entirely by surprise. But here’s one thing we can say for certain: the most successful brands of the future will be those that embrace change and adjust their sails to meet the ever-changing winds of marketing.
Embracing change doesn’t have to mean abandoning everything that works in the past; it just means finding new and better ways to make those techniques work for you.
Tiana Gibbs is an Associate Customer Content Specialist with PR Newswire moonlighting as a freelance copywriter. When not writing for the web, she can be found trying (and sometimes failing) to build an urban homestead in the Land of Enchantment.