Tips to Diversify Your PR Strategy
The press release: It used to be a publicist’s best friend. But in this age of 280 characters and visual storytelling, this traditional go-to news dissemination tool is fast losing ground.
The primary reason we still use press releases is that every potential story needs a long-form document, clearly laying out the detail of the news and its approved message points. But today, the press release is more a reference tool than a mechanism used to net stories.
Press releases are useful to reporters you have already received interest from because it is where they get all of their approved facts for the story. And issuing a press release is also good for legitimizing your news so that when a reporter researches the story you are pitching, a credible “published” document appears.
It’s reference, it’s content and it’s formal. And formal is sometimes necessary. But if you’re looking for new, innovative and experimental ways to get your news out there, consider these 4 alternatives to a press release:
As of 2017, two-thirds of American adults are getting news from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great place to reach a lot of people with less effort. Use relevant hashtags to connect with additional users.
If you don’t have many followers, read this piece from Danny Sullivan to help you get started. Just be aware that people spend less time with content on social media. What you gain in reach, you might just lose in retention.
Create a Blog
Take publicizing your news into your own hands. Instead of telling reporters why a story would be worth their time, show them! Prove that there is potential for user interest and reporters won’t hesitate to pick your story up.
A company blog can also act as testing grounds for developing ideas. If people show enthusiasm, you know you have something.
Visual content is an effective way to draw people’s attention. Because the visual centers of the human brain are the most sensitive and receptive, you’ll generally draw more attention to your content by using images.
Including a graphic or photo makes your news eye-catching and more appealing to read. Embedding a video is even better. Visual aids, judiciously peppered throughout your written content, make difficult information easier to digest and will improve your reader retention.
Connect on a Personal Level
When trying to gain influence, we are often forced to choose between quantity and quality. The more people we connect with, the shallower those connections will be. The fewer connections we have, the more time and effort we can allocate to them.
While some situations call for a mass pitch, don’t underestimate the power of personal and authentic networking. When you have the right pitch, find an appropriate reporter, read their content, let them know you have taken the time to become familiar with their work on a deeper level, and then send them your pitch.
In a world where everything has become so automated, including communication, people genuinely appreciate receiving an email that displays a personal touch. Use that to your advantage to get your story out there.