using media to promote company news public relations

“SHOUT” your news … as Bluto (John Belushi) and the “Animal House” carousers did to the Isley Brothers classic.

Here’s a challenge many companies have faced. You have won an award, launched a new website, hired a key person, donated to charity or held a volunteer service day. If you send out a press release, the news media will most likely respond with, “So what?” Accomplishments that are relatively common do not rise to the level of general interest required to get coverage.

That shouldn’t stop you from sharing your news with people who have a connection to your company. They include visitors to your website and your followers on social media. You can spread the news further by sending an announcement to small local publications, trade news blogs and the newsletter editors at business organizations to which your company belongs. They may give you a brief shout-out.

Once in awhile, you may have news worthy of shouting a bit louder. That was the case recently for two Hollister Creative clients. CCI Consulting was launching a sister company: CCI Compass. Nolan Painting was announcing a 10-year pledge to donate $1 million to community organizations. The challenge for both companies was to get the word out in a bigger way to regional and national news media, and especially to reporters who cover the type of news they were sharing.

Our Solution

The most efficient way to distribute news is to subscribe to a communications platform such as PR Newswire (which is being acquired by Cision in 2016). Like modern email newsletter platforms – think Constant Contact or MailChimp – PR Newswire provides templates, tools and analytics for an annual fee ($195). Unlike email newsletter platforms, which require you to provide your own “send to” list, PR Newswire maintains a current, international database of journalists and bloggers in all media, as well as 5,500+ news websites. For each press release, you purchase one-time distribution to the segments you want, based on your needs and budget.

Using news media correctly: CCI Compass logoFor the CCI Compass news release, the goal was to generate interest in a new kind of benefits broker, one that takes a holistic view of HR needs and incorporates technology solutions along with compliance protection. For CCI, we purchased the standard United States distribution package plus the human resources microlist: Total cost was $1,835 including a graphic. Analytics show the release was posted to 234 websites and attracted 682 views, including 198 by media people.

Using news media correctly: Nolan Painting logoFor the Nolan Painting news release , the goal was to create some buzz about “Nolan in the Neighborhood,” a noteworthy pledge by a small business to give back $100,000 a year over the next decade to support local nonprofits and events. For Nolan, we purchased Pennsylvania distribution plus two microlists: philanthropy and corporate social responsibility: Total cost was $1,215 including the logo image. Analytics show the release was posted to 213 websites and attracted 265 views, including 124 by media people.

Three Quick Tips

If you face the challenge of distributing big company news to a wide audience, use a platform like PR Newswire. Here is some advice on using it well:

  • Include an image or video. Although it costs hundreds of dollars more to distribute than a text release alone, the authoritative marketing website Mashable.com reports press releases including an image or a video get shared three times more than text-only releases – and viewers spend up to 30 seconds more time with this content.”
  • Write a long headline and a short release. Journalists won’t click to view your release unless the headline conveys the news and includes keywords that indicate relevance to their audience. If the body of the release goes over 400 words, you will pay extra for each additional 100 words.
  • Send to relevant microlists. Each microlist you select costs extra, but enables you to target recipients who have a particular interest or beat. If your release matches up well with a microlist, it is probably worth the money to include it along with the general and trade media you get automatically when selecting a state, region or country as the distribution area.

Challenges and Solutions are mini case studies that include tips you may find helpful if you are facing a similar challenge. View more Challenges and Solutions on the Hollister Creative website. If you are facing a marketing challenge, call 484.829.0021 or email Kim Landry

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