Great stories deserve an audience, but as a PR team it’s tough finding the right people to reach out to. This is why we’re excited to announce the latest update to our platform - the integration of the Agility media database.
The media database is a list of over 800,000 journalists, bloggers, influencers and other media contacts who have opted-in to the database. It’s powered and maintained by Agility PR Solutions, whose research team makes daily updates and keeps the list up to date. In-depth information on each contact is included, as well such as beat, media type, location, language, and more.
PressPage users who have access to the database will be able to find relevant media contacts using advanced search and filter options. You’ll be able to segment your search based on options such as subjects, languages, locations, and many more. You can then create contact lists to compile,save, and manage the relevant audiences.
This latest update not only helps PR teams save time, it also makes building new relationships and increasing your reach easier. Combining the media database into your existing PressPage process means you’ll be able to simplify a larger part of your workflow. Publish content on your newsroom, find the right audience, reach out, and analyze engagement - all in the same platform.
If you’re already using PressPage, you can click here to request a demo, or reach out to your Customer Success Manager.
Not using PressPage yet? Reach out to us here if you’d like to have a chat about our platform’s functionalities and how we’re helping brands around the world like Booking.com, Porsche and Logitech. You can also request a free trial for our newsroom here.
Not long ago, a brand newsroom editor pushed positive but often bland, corporate-toned pieces to the brand’s newsroom.
But that’s no longer the case in today’s online-driven, hyper media-consuming world.
And while each company may have a different purpose or strategy for the newsroom, the ultimate goal remains the same — to communicate on behalf of the brand to its external audiences.
The new corporate newsroom managing editor has a different set of responsibilities today that didn’t exist 15 years ago.
With a 24-hour news cycle, citizen reporters breaking news on a regular basis, and “fake news” headlines capturing more attention than the truth, brands are fighting not just within their industry or region for the attention of their audiences but across categories.
Hence, the introduction of brand journalism. Brands have to find a way to communicate who they are, what they do and what they believe in that goes beyond an earnings report or product launch announcement.
Make no mistake – brand journalism entails different tasks for different brands and different communicators.
It’s not exactly marketing and it’s not entirely journalism, but it’s not solely blogging either. It’s a combination of all three skills (and then some). And it's more important than ever in the Public Relations professional's toolset.
Brand journalism promotes compelling, upbeat stories about a company to more than one audience, often in more than one format.
The rise of brand journalism has fundamentally changed the role of the newsroom managing editor.
They no longer assign or write the same old press releases to send to the same media outlets.
Instead, each piece of content is geared towards a particular type of customer (persona) or to the media outlets who provide fodder for the type of customer the company wants to reach.
Hi-res images, creative and standard executive headshots, logo or product shots, linked high-profile media mentions, contact information and a sleek digital media kit are a few other pieces of the newsroom puzzle a managing editor keeps updated and organized.
But this time, each item is targeted for a distinctive buyer’s persona or audience.
A company newsroom manager ensures varied types of content are available for the people who want it when they want it.
Whatever the content, this type of editor still shares articles or other media to show off the company in the best possible light.
The corporate newsroom editor also understands what the newsroom needs to achieve for the best results.
Whether they are keeping the site updated with relevant, positive company news or revealing a favorable mention in a high-profile publication, the editor invests time in learning how to reach the target market best.
Producing content for a social media influencer would require a different type of material and tone than working with a traditional print publication or providing updates to consumers.
A one-size-fits-all, batch and blast approach no longer works.
No matter what the company’s latest news — whether it is a new executive hire, the launch of a fresh product or a keynote speech at a big-name conference — the newsroom managing editor will get the word out to the media outlets who care about the information and prominently share the news on the company newsroom for all audiences to consume.
An effective company managing editor emphasizes the best parts of the company for the world to see.
The new company managing editor won’t blast press releases everywhere and hope something sticks.
Instead, they send content where it fits best before highlighting it within the newsroom to snag social shares and benefit the brand’s reputation.
And, should the worst-case scenario become a reality, the newsroom managing editor provides quick updates to relay accurate information and smooth over any crisis, whether it’s actual or perceived, becoming the trusted source of updates for all impacted audience members.
Showcasing the most engaging content for the right audience is hard. Make it simple. Try PressPage for a riveting newsroom made easy.
A new client, product, service or announcement can be cause for media research.
From databases to Internet search queries, Twitter and everything in between, research can be time consuming and inefficient.
So, here are five steps to ensure the next time you sit down to create a new media contact or distribution list, you are able to maximize your time and improve your results.
One of the biggest mistakes PR professionals make either due to inexperience or a lack of time, is assuming the same media contacts they reached out to regarding the previous announcement or opportunity will be interested in the next one.
It’s critical to re-examine the target audience for the announcement before beginning media research of any kind.
Who are you trying to reach? Why would they be interested in your news?
Once you’ve determined who the target audience is, consider where this group goes to get news and information.
Of these media outlets, which are likely to be interested in your story or announcement?
Creating a realistic contact list from the get-go will help efforts stay focused and will reduce the risk of sending press releases to the wrong person or the wrong outlet, saving time (and face).
Simply pulling a list of media outlets and media contacts from a database doesn’t really count as “research.”
Of those collected, it’s imperative to dig into each contact to confirm their current employer and their beat. It’s impossible for a media contacts database to stay 100 percent up-to-date, 100 percent of the time.
Use this contact information as a starting point and work to verify it through media outlet and Internet searches.
Don’t forget about social media! Most reporters and columnists are active on Twitter, which is a great way to not only get a feel for who they are and what they’re interested in but also to see headlines they’ve penned in recent days.
Take some time to verify search results and initiate engagement before sending the press release or story idea.
The strength of a media contacts list isn’t in its length but, rather, its reputation and audience reach.
While a list of 100 media contacts may yield coverage in more media outlets than a list of 20, the more targeted list will reach the right audience faster and with the right message, providing better results.
Keep in mind the number of email address subscribers or unique site visitors per month are great to track but mean very little when it comes to measuring success.
Smarter media research and outreach can take more time, but in the long run it provides better results and increases PR efficiencies.
It’s a deeper, more targeted approach to spreading the word that not only improves awareness and engagement but also works to build genuine media relationships that can last beyond a one-off announcement or pitch.
When it comes to measuring success, public relations and corporate communications professionals tend to get the short end of the stick.
Unlike digital marketers who can measure the cost per acquisition (CPA), click-throughs and campaign referral traffic, PR has traditionally been measured by key performance indicators (KPIs) such as media coverage reputation, potential readership/viewership and coverage sentiment.
Three pretty obscure metrics that, in at least one case, are simply defined as “positive, negative or neutral.” And, with all the advances in technology today, there has to be a better way to measure success.
So, here’s a list of five KPIs for PR pros worth noting, focusing and reporting on to improve visibility and, in the end, results.
Admittedly, this isn’t an exact science, but the number of possible impressions provides context to the coverage.
Whether the focus is circulation numbers or unique visitors per month (UVPM), coverage from news sites and publications with a higher number of potential impressions tend to hold more weight, especially when reaching a key target audience or demographic.
And remember, coverage by one major media outlet can often be matched by multiple pieces of coverage by several smaller outlets.
The goal is to spread the word to the right folks where they are looking for news and information as often as possible.
One of the major benefits of marketing and PR efforts working hand-in-hand is the ability to align and measure efforts across the board.
Insights provided by Google Analytics, for example, can shine a light on where incoming website traffic is coming from—making it more imperative than ever before for PR pros to ask for backlinks whenever possible.
Through Analytics, marketers and PR pros can discover what’s driving website traffic thereby making it easier to identify PR “wins” and attribute traffic to conversions.
NOTE: Backlinks connect one website to another through the use of a hyperlink. The more backlinks you are able to secure pointing back to your site, the better your search rankings will become over time. Read more on building backlinks and improving your SEO here.
Content, even the news, is written and shared with the goal of building awareness (for an issue, person, company, etc.) and engagement.
A very real KPI PR pros can zero in on and measure week over week or month over month is social engagement for the brand.
This takes impressions to the next level and monitors not just the number of impressions made in the newsfeed, but the interactions tied to the coverage such as likes, shares and comments.
Whoever said, “Any press is good press,” never had to deal with a crisis. There is such a thing as bad press but there’s also neutral and good press, all of which can help to build brand sentiment for any organization regardless of size or industry.
Obviously, the more positive and neutral press, the better. Every media coverage report should also include a sentiment analysis that can be ascertained by artificial intelligence but should, in every case, be confirmed by the PR pro responsible for the mention or coverage.
Perhaps one of the most interesting KPIs to watch, share of voice compares brands against their competitors—from the number of potential impressions and media outlet reputation to sentiment and even brand prominence in coverage.
A great way to begin understanding the media landscape is to set up alerts for the competition in the news. Consider the following bits of reportable and actionable data:
Is it from a trusted and reliable media source?
What is the size of the media outlet’s audience?
Is the brand sentiment positive, neutral or negative?
Does it link back to the competition’s website?
By considering the above questions, PR pros can see at a glance whether or not they are winning or losing when it comes to owning “media share.”
As a result of tracking this KPI, PR pros can create a new list of potential media contacts to reach out to because of their recent work with similar/competitive organizations.
As with digital marketing, the ultimate goal of website traffic is to drive visitors towards conversion. Whether it’s through filling out a form to learn more or registering for an event, conversions can quickly tell marketers and PR folks whether or not a campaign (or story) is working.
Good PR should result in better quality leads and a more educated and aware target audience that is ready to learn more and engage with a brand.
So, it’s reasonable and even recommended, to tie lead quality (not necessarily lead volume) and even revenue to KPIs for PR pros.
These metrics force PR pros to go after the right media outlets and media contacts to reach target audiences with the right story, right where they go to get information.
These five KPIs for PR pros are a great starting point but are not the end-all-be-all of PR measurement. The best place to start when developing KPIs and annual PR goals is the organization’s business plan and communications strategy.
A good PR plan should complement and strengthen the marketing strategy and KPIs should be tied directly to organizational goals that further the mission of the company.
Most companies today provide website visitors with a downloadable media or press kit.
Designed to summarize a business, product, or event, media kits are primarily utilized by journalists and are typically known as a “one stop shop” for media contacts when they need quick access to information.
The digital media kits we know today are much more engaging and helpful than the boxed kits public relations professionals had to ship to media contacts in the past.
Because of advancements in technology, companies can build a better media kit that not only provides easy-to-digest information on brands, products, services, and leadership, but also engages media contacts—increasing the likelihood of obtaining positive media coverage.
The contents of a media kit vary and company to company; however, there are several basic pieces that should always be included to build a better media kit.
In the event a member of the press should reach out to an organization, who should they contact? What’s the best way for them to reach this individual?
Keep in mind how the contact prefers to be communicated to and provide more than one communication option to journalists.
For example, if an organization’s media contact prefers email, list their email address and provide their direct office phone number to reduce the risk of the journalist reaching someone else within the organization who is not an approved company spokesperson.
New product launches, earnings reports, awards, and executive hire announcements are excellent company news items that should be included in the media kit.
Consider only selecting two or three that would qualify as either major or recent company news (within the past quarter). These announcements will help journalists gain a better understanding of what’s going on with the company.
Most organizations have an “about us” section of the website that provides a brief company overview and history to interested parties. Consider slimming this down into a one-page document that can be easily referenced by members of the press who are looking to either gain a better understanding of the company or to share background of the company in their own words.
The majority of journalists ask for a headshot of the executive they interview or choose to feature in a story. By providing C-suite executive headshots in high- and low-resolution JPG and PNG file formats, journalists can access what they need without having to go back to the media contact with another request.
Don't forget to include several different logo options, including full-color and black and white in both high- and low-resolution JPG and PNG formats. The best way to make sure the organization’s represented appropriately is to provide the correct files upfront.
If the company already has b-roll footage of a new product, employees, or of the office/campus, having those files also available for download can help expedite the process of putting together a news story on the company.
Ensure videos are labeled accurately and are compressed to minimize download time and file space. In addition to videos, add product photos and even office photography (i.e., office building, reception area, employees working, etc.).
These images can be used along with the b-roll footage and logos to help craft a brand consistent news story for television or online media.
In addition to these recommended staples, consider also adding the organization’s annual report as well as recent (and notable) news coverage such as a product review by a popular media outlet or an interview with a highly-credible news source.
Press kits should be accessible via the newsroom of the company website. Slimmed down versions can be saved as compressed files and emailed to media contacts upon request or in an effort to pitch a story.
Here are three great examples of Media Kits you can build today:
1. Visible's media kit includes screenshots of their app, a boilerplate, and logos.
2. South Texas College has a comprehensive media kit, which includes logos, campus photos, contact information, and press releases.
3. Alliance Data's media kit includes their Leadership bios and headshots, logos, fact sheets, and contact information.
Better media kits offer efficiency in the gathering of information, flexibility in how the story can be shared, and guidance on how best to describe and capture the organization in a way that is consistent with the brand.
When companies take the time to build a better media kit, it’s not only helpful to the journalists covering those organizations but also to the organizations themselves as the media kit can protect the brand and the company’s story.
When it comes to Healthcare public relations, storytelling is key. News in healthcare– a major development in a vaccine, for example– is difficult to communicate to the general public. PR practitioners face pressure to abide by regulatory practices. In the United States staying HIPPA compliant is a significant challenge for healthcare PR professionals. As a result, communicators are obliged to use highly technical medical language in press releases, often at the expense of broader comprehension.
It does not help that healthcare is one of the most politicized and polarizing topics in our society. PR pros must think about the social, religious and political ramifications of their content; ensuring they promote truth and integrity while aligning with the values of their organization and their diverse audiences.
As a result, the work of healthcare communicators is incredibly restrictive. Their content needs to go through a multi-step approval process and is often loaded with medical jargon. The size of the audience that can truly comprehend this content and its impact on regular people shrinks, making the communicator's work even more challenging. Ultimately the return on such efforts is hard to justify.
Yet there are viable solutions to these problems that healthcare communicators would be well advised to consider.
Healthcare is a field where a single question can have a thousand different answers. People first seek answers to health concerns through a simple Google Search such as “Why does my chest hurt?” Yet the information isn’t always backed by the scientific rigour we’ve come to expect in healthcare. In the age of social media and blogging, where anyone and everyone can pose as an expert, and misinformation is rife, casual Googling of health issues can lead to frustrating and often dangerous consequences. The popular healthcare website WebMD for example, has become a meme for providing poor healthcare advice.
There is an opportunity for Healthcare communicators to fill this vacuum by leveraging internal expertise to provide reasoned, practical healthcare advice for individuals looking for it.
Cook Children’s Hospital successfully does this through their ‘Checkup Newsroom.’ By providing advice on topics such as ‘Let's Learn About ... Heart Murmurs,’ Cook Children’s PR team is able to successfully combat misinformation in healthcare, while positioning themselves as experts in adolescent medicine.
Another effective way of public communication is by tying this form of content to stories in the news cycle. When the Zika Virus broke out in 2016, OhioHealth published a backgrounder on ‘The Zika Virus: What central Ohioans need to know’. The article provides a great resource specifically for members of the public (in Ohio) looking to understand what Zika is and its impacts.
Perhaps the most effective form of content that PR professionals can use to supplement their press releases is storytelling.
A sign of our times is that important information is often diluted within a sea of non-stories dressed up as breaking news. People tend to view overly optimistic articles that claim some major breakthrough in cancer research as 'too good to be true.' So when a real breakthrough in medicine is achieved, let’s say a new revolutionary vaccine, people are often skeptical.
By humanizing stories and revealing the real-life impact of treatments on ordinary people, healthcare PR professionals can effectively show the impact of their organization’s work.
Shepherd Center is an Atlanta based hospital that uses storytelling to communicate the treatments of patients rehabilitating from spinal cord and brain trauma.
Their story 'Families From Across the Nation Travel to Shepherd Center for Specialized Care' is a prime example of how storytelling can become a powerful way to talk about your brand without coming across as inauthentic or salesy. By focusing on the experiences of the people they work with, Shepherd effectively signals their brand mission and values, while centering themselves as the foremost experts on spinal and brain trauma.
The biggest asset a healthcare organization has is its employees. One way PR professionals can build a newsroom that resonates in the healthcare community is by tapping into the goldmine that exists within their organization.
There are two key reasons this mindset can benefit your newsroom and your organization:
1. As stated above, seeking the expertise of physicians is a great way of providing further reach for their knowledge. While a conference may provide them with an audience of a thousand, a well-written piece by a physician can be read tens or hundreds of thousands of times.
This reach isn’t merely academic– it can have real-life impacts too. In 2015, Dr. Paul Thornton at Cook Children’s Hospital was interviewed for an article on their newsroom about a new set of guidelines his team had created for screening uncontrolled hypoglycemia, a rare and severe disorder in children.
In 2016, CheckUp newsroom wrote an article about a family, who having discovered Dr. Thornton’s article on Checkup Newsroom via Google Search, sought out the doctor and traveled across the country to save their child’s life.`
2. Some of the best content on healthcare newsrooms is often about employees – not just physicians, but nurses, other medical and administrative staff. Two great examples are this Checkup Newsroom story about a nurse that volunteered during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts or this OhioHealth story of a nurse who adopted a dog from recovering patients.
This type of content is an excellent tool to communicate your organizational values, including things like care, compassion, and a commitment to go above and beyond for your community.
More importantly, stories about your employees are a great way to promote interorganizational pride. As the OhioHealth team explains, by sharing these stories they are able to promote their culture both internally and externally. Employees feel a sense of pride working for OhioHealth and are excited to share stories about themselves or their colleagues on social media, giving it a kind of viral effect.
Another tip for building a robust healthcare newsroom to figure out how you will keep the content on your newsroom fresh.
Publishing a diverse range of content on a regular basis, including press releases, internal news, blog posts, featured stories, and healthcare industry news, is vital. As your healthcare newsroom grows, aim to publish 1-2 pieces of content per week at a minimum to keep your newsroom fresh and your audiences engaged.
Ensuring that the content is timely and newsworthy is also something to consider. Quite often, healthcare communicators become so hyper-focused on what’s happening within their own organization, they aren’t able to successfully leverage opportunities based on what their audiences are actually talking about.
Populating a newsroom with a mixture of stories about your brand as well as commentary on current affairs in healthcare is an excellent strategy.
Organizations that do this well often start by forming a 'content council'. Content councils are designed to break organizational silos and bring together various communications teams including PR, Marketing, Social, Video and brand etc. Discussing what each team is building for content, discussing what is in the news that particular week, and how content and resources can be shared and allocated is enables you to keep your content calendar full and fresh. Content councils also allow teams to discuss current events and consider how older stories could be repurposed for the current news cycle.
The previous example of OhioHealth’s Zika story is a good example of this. Understanding that their audience was looking to them for relevant expertise on the Zika Virus, OhioHealth maintained a featured release with the Zika story at the top of their newsroom for weeks. When the issue around Zika re-emerged months later, OhioHealth was ready to revive the article on their homepage.
There are many ways of keeping on top of healthcare news. Social media sites like Twitter are excellent, particularly if you search out lists of Twitter influencers in the healthcare space. Healthcare news aggregator sites, as well as healthcare blogs, are an excellent source of current news (Feedspot has an excellent list of healthcare blogs to follow).
For all organizations, rebranding can be a daunting experience. Poorly executed rebrands have the potential to alienate loyal customers and members – just look at the stir caused by IHOP’s (fake, as it turns out) name change to IHOB.
But Sourcewell’s decision was backed by years of research that demonstrated they had outgrown their old name, and a new name would be required to usher in a new chapter for the organization. This would be tricky for the PR team – the name NJPA had built up a certain level of social and institutional credit over the years.
But Chelsea Ornelas, Public Relations Specialist at Sourcewell, explains that it was a vital undertaking in order to “stand out in a sea sameness” that plagued their field.
The rebrand has allowed the Sourcewell PR team to adopt a new approach to how they relate to their community.
Under the name NJPA, the Sourcewell team found it difficult to communicate the service-oriented nature of their organization. Their members consist largely of public entities, including education institutions, cities, counties, states, and other government associations. With such a broad purview, relating to members on a personal level was becoming increasingly important.
“I think Sourcewell is more personable, and more relatable. And that’s the tone we have been taking with our social media and our content. Not that we changed our voice a ton, but we are definitely trying to focus on telling the stories and successes of our members, being more personable, speaking in plain language and terms that people understand and can understand what we do and how we can serve them.”
A major part of the organization’s rebrand included redesigning their digital presence, including their online newsroom, which is powered by the PressPage platform.
Once the plans were locked in place, Chelsea says she approached Heather, her Customer Success Manager at PressPage, to discuss options for redesigning their existing NJPA newsroom.
“I spoke to Heather two months before our go live and she said, ‘No worries. Our team can definitely do that.’ And it was technical stuff, so I was able to connect the techies and then back away. From what I understand, it was very smooth.”
“Our new site wasn’t live until June 6, but as we were building it, we were able to share pieces and framing with PressPage, and they matched our new website and made it happen. I think one of the first pieces that was done and ready, that our website team felt good about, was our newsroom.”
Alongside the public facing newsroom, PressPage has enabled the Sourcewell team to adopt a modern, agile PR workflow.
Chelsea describes the laborious publication process she endured when she was first hired.
“It was a pretty clunky process. We were writing our press releases in Word, turning them into PDFs, and uploading them to our site. So not very shareable or engaging. And if I found an error, it was a whole 5-10 minute process of fixing the error in the PDF. It was clunky and cumbersome, and it wasn’t image friendly and obviously had nothing for video.”
With PressPage, the Sourcewell PR team is now able to manage their content directly within the platform. “I just log in, fix the error and it’s all done in real time.”
The original decision to move to PressPage was done after months of careful planning and research. From sales to the onboarding, Chelsea recalls a positive experience moving her newsroom to PressPage in 2017.
“When we started looking for an interactive user-friendly solution, PressPage floated to the top of options for us. My initial contact was great, and the sales rep that I spoke with asked questions and listened to what I had in mind. He showed me example pages of other PressPage clients, and really listened to what we were looking for and got to know our organization and our needs.”
Once signed, the onboarding matched the promise of the early sales process for Sourcewell. “The training was great– it was quick. I think that first initial training was an hour on the platform. It was so intuitive and easy for me to figure out. And in those first few weeks, if I had a question or if it wasn't looking the way I wanted it to, PressPage was very responsive to my emails and phone calls.”
For Sourcewell’s PR team, working with the PressPage solution has certainly improved their PR workflow and overall results.
On the workflow side, the Sourcewell team has become more agile.
“One of the things we did recently was share a video of a town that was in jeopardy of losing its clinic. Through working with us, they were able to save that clinic and save their citizens from having to drive an hour to get healthcare. The video was done, and it was so quick to upload it and put together the story on our newsroom.”
“And that’s just one example. I think we’ve had about a dozen pieces of content that we’ve posted in the last month and it’s just quick and easy.”
The results of the newsroom speak for themselves. As Chelsea highlights:
“We’ve moved our newsroom location to a more prominent place within our website, so we’ve seen a huge increase in traffic. And we’ve seen a big uptick in people finding us through Google.”
Chelsea explains that Sourcewell’s organizational rebrand has re-energized their PR team. “We see the potential, and we get excited about the different avenues it can take us. We already have great feedback from our members, our vendors and partner organizations. We’re re-energized, and we’re excited to see where this takes us.”
For Sourcewell’s team, the newsroom rebrand certainly reflects their new identity. “Cleaner, modern, a simpler look was what we were after and what was achieved. I think everything from the colors to the fonts, spacing… it just turned out beautifully, and it really reflects the change and rebrand that we were going for.”
Most brands that produce and publish content or news incorporate an online newsroom into their website, driving traffic from Internet searches and social media to the external communications hub. There, press releases and articles appear in organized columns by topic and date, making getting to know the brand easy and fast for media contacts and consumers alike. From major technology companies and massive health systems to small liberal arts colleges and even startups, the newsroom is the website’s hub for communication, but it can be so much more.
Brand storytelling has the potential to build awareness, interest, and engagement for organizations of all sizes. It combines content marketing strategy, brand journalism, and public relations efforts to consistently tell the story of the brand through imagery and content across multiple platforms.
In short, a brand story isn’t so much what organizations share with their audiences but rather, it’s what audiences believe because of the information shared by the brand. The brand story incapsulates all of the facts (announcements, articles, and news coverage) as well as perception and sentiment regarding the brand by itself, its customers, its community, and the public.
To begin shaping target audiences’ as well as the general public’s perception of a brand, there are several pieces to the story that must come together in one centralized information hub.
First and foremost, the brand must introduce who it is and what it does. Think of this as a continuation of the “About Us” section of a website. It’s the eight-second elevator pitch employees rattle off at professional networking events. And, it should be consistently incorporated into every company announcement and press release again and again.
Second, the brand should discuss and demonstrate how it solves problems or overcomes challenges for its customers. This can be achieved through published case studies, videos with actual clients, and how-to guides from the brand on its products and services.
Next, the brand needs to showcase the value it provides to its customers. Whether it’s a running shoe company or a hospital, the brand should highlight how it betters the lives of others. Testimonials, ratings and reviews, and videos with actual clients are just a few examples of how brands can convey the value they bring to the table day after day.
Finally, brands must engage and contribute with their audiences. From responding to social media posts to answering fan mail via YouTube, brands have a tremendous opportunity today that didn’t exist 20 years ago: the ability to engage with customers anywhere at any time via numerous channels. Brands that respond, engage, and support their customers when their customers need them the most earn more trust and build a better, more compelling story.
With each of the brand’s story elements (i.e., commercials, social media posts, ratings and reviews, articles, announcements, case studies, etc.) scattered across multiple platforms and media, there needs to be one easy-to-find hub of information that makes finding these pieces fast and convenient for all audiences.
The online newsroom is the ideal digital hub of a brand’s story as it’s already home to the news and articles that share who the brand is, what it does, and what problem it solves for its customers. By incorporating more diverse content, such as social media feeds or access points, testimonials, and case studies, brands can drive traffic to the newsroom where people learn more about the brand and begin to develop their perception or understanding of the brand’s story.
You’d love to get that major publication or TV network to cover your event, embed your video or quote your chief executive in an economic forecast story.
The last thing you want is for reporters to delete your press release the moment the email notification pops up on their screens.
Surely everyone knows by now that stuffy, old-style press releases don’t cut it when reporters are busier than ever and newspapers want multimedia assets for their online editions. Yet ill-considered pitches keep flooding the inboxes of the dwindling number of journalists.
How to stand out? Here are a few tips:
Getting a journalist to open your email is the first step in earning coverage. Write a snappy subject line for your email, says Elise Copps of Hamilton Health Sciences.
Oh, you’ve got tons to say about your new robotic cat massager/cow milker. It’s going to change the world. But if you gush on for pages, reporters won’t read your release.
“Ideally no more than one page of copy,” says says Caroline Niven, vice president of external communications at Mastercard.
It’s a good idea to paste your text in the email, rather than an attachment, so if a reporter is on a mobile devices can scroll and read it quickly, she says.
Reporters look at press releases for facts, says Orly Telisman of Orly Telisman Public Relations. They gloss over boastful and praise-ridden quotes from CEOs, partners and others.
Use active voice, not passive. Avoid Ciceronian sentences and Faulknerian flamboyance.
“Keep it simple,” Telisman says. “If your sentences are a whole paragraph, they’re too long. Cut it down into digestible chunks of information.”
One pitchman used to send me press releases that showed up as Greek letters. I don’t know what font he was using, but it was unreadable.
“If the reporter doesn’t have your font, you don’t know how it will show up on their screen,” Niven says. “Better to use something generic.”
Include photos and videos in your release as links instead of attachments so you can share high-quality files without overloading your recipient’s inbox, Copps says. Another option, Niven says, is to embed a low-resolution image in the release and link to a place where a high-resolution can be downloaded.
Be explicit about how media outlets can use them in their coverage, Copps adds. That is, make sure they know how the files can be used and whether credit is required. If you don’t want files to be altered, mention that.
“Encourage video embedding so views count towards your metrics, not theirs,” Copps says. “There’s no guarantee that media will comply, but by making the ‘ask’ clear, you improve your chances.”
Don’t dump everything on journalists the day of the release. Plan ahead.
Give the one reason why there is something press worthy, and stick to that for the entire document, Telisman says. If you have two things to announce, space them out over a few weeks’ time. “That way you keep the drumbeat going on your company or product—and your innovativeness,” she says.
The simplest points sometimes need restating: Write the boilerplate description of your company as if for somebody who has never heard of your business. Although random reporters might admire your creative writing workshop brilliance, they’re going to turn to Wikipedia for a straightforward rundown of your business if you don’t provide it.
An astonishing number of press releases provide no contact information, forcing reporters to scour the company website for a phone number or email address.
As a Pulitzer Prize-winning former colleague once put it to me, Do organizations think we’ll just print a press release verbatim? Not only does this slow down interested journalists, but they might drop the story altogether in frustration. A lack of contact information lends unreliability to your entire press release.
While emails remain a way to catch some reporters’ attention, there are huge advantages to creating news release landing page. Unlike email, web pages are indexable on search engines, driving traffic to your site. This is likely to draw journalists to other work, information and expertise on your site.
People also are more likely to share links, quotes and other information from webpages than than from emails. Sometimes reporters can be influential this way, spreading your message even if they don’t intend to cover your news in a story. Yet they must have something to link to.
Whether your clients are internal or external, teach them how releases are used today, Telisman says. Resist the pressure to write long dispatches or to announce meaningless, incremental developments that only clog journalists’ inboxes.
A global healthcare business, Bupa currently employs over 78,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, Chile, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the USA, Brazil, the Middle East and Ireland, and many more through associate businesses in Saudi Arabia and India. It has over 15.5 million health insurance customers, provides healthcare to around 14.5 million people in clinics and hospitals, and looks after over 23,300 aged care residents.
The organisation first adopted PressPage’s newsroom technology for their Australian market.
The launch of their UK newsroom shows that their UK and corporate teams has been impressed with the platform’s easy workflow and effectiveness.
Case templates: To better manage the Cases, you can now flag a case that is a template when you create a new case or by updating it in the ‘Case Information’ section.
Multiple Safenames: You can add multiple URL identifiers (safenames) to releases. This means that a release can be found via multiple URLs. This is especially useful if a spelling mistake was found after a case has been shared across Social channels, as well as for creating short SEO optimized urls.
Media Kit: By enabling the Media kit Module, you can allow visitors to view or download all media assets from a release at once.
Advanced module options
For certain modules we have implemented advanced settings to improve flexibility. The advanced settings consist of:
Modules that have one or multiple of the above options are: Custom module, News carousel, Headlines module, Button module. We will roll out the advanced settings to more modules in the coming period.
Delete Email templates: Within PressPage Mail, admin users now also have the option to delete Email templates.
Want to stay on top of the latest developments? Be sure to check the roadmap in the main PressPage Manager menu (top-right corner) for upcoming functionalities!
The origin of Pirelli dates back to 1872, the year Giovanni Battista Pirelli founded a limited partnership in Milan to produce elastic rubber items.
Although in the past the company has also launched fashion projects and engaged in sustainable energy, today, Pirelli is a pure tyre manufacturing company. Since 1907, Pirelli has also been a key sponsor in sports competitions.
Their newsroom is a most informative web destination covering Formula 1, governance, financial, and sustainability news with insightful and fun infographics, videos and more.
As more and more global brands see the benefit of a purpose-built PR platform to drive their digital PR campaigns, Pirelli's switch to PressPage can be compared to today's ever-faster tyre changes at Formula 1 races.
Modern technology allows a seamless integration with design and navigation. Furthermore, PressPage's service level includes a detailed migration plan, training and consultancy. Everything is in place to transition clients efficiently.
With newspapers and TV stations shrinking their staffs these days, how does an organization get attention for its events and accomplishments?
And if there’s ever an emergency such as a hurricane or—God forbid—a gunman on campus, how do you get the news out on all your digital channels immediately?
These are some of the questions that led officials at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas, to launch an online newsroom through PressPage. Del Mar College is the first higher education institution to subscribe to PressPage in Texas.
Del Mar has 12,000 students, making it as large as a mid-size university. That means it’s a hub of academic activity as well as a resource for a community that is both a tourist attraction and center of industry on the Gulf Coast, Eddleman says.
Del Mar hosts musical events featuring faculty, students or visiting artists, as well as theatrical productions, art exhibits and other cultural programs.
An information hub
The college has been featured in important news stories, and Del Mar officials naturally wish to trumpet the news. PressPage is a cloud-based newsroom that allows easy posting by communications professionals. The software also enables users to post readily to social media, extending the reach of Viking News, as Del Mar’s site is called.
“It’s a great hub to get things out,” Eddleman says.
Since the site went up late last year, it has received more than 8,800 visits. PressPage has provided in-depth statistics to the college compared with what was previously available, such as new and repeat visitors.
Eddleman says, “I feel these numbers are very impressive, since our Viking Newsroom has been live for less than six months.”
Tropical storms pose a significant threat along the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Harvey hit about 15 miles north of the college. In such an emergency, the college can change the number of stories rotating in the carousel.
Another advantage of the platform is that it makes it easy to upload stories, photos and video, and to attach captions to visual assets. This allows the college to make its content compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act; a blind person scanning the site with a special device would know what photos are posted. Also, the college’s Del Mar TV provides closed captioning, a capability that didn’t exist before it used PressPage, Eddleman says.
Under the heading “Latest News,” it touts its industry partners and highlights their support of the college, Eddleman says. Stories mention a $100,000 donation to the Safety Institute and a $54,000 scholarship award for 17 process technology majors, a department that also received a $1 million gift.
The front page has an “In the Media” section that enables the college to note stories about its programs or where its staff are quoted. Quick Takes enables users to post notable matters they wouldn’t pitch to news outlets, due to lack of local column space or airtime.
Eddleman’s team has four people, part of a college relations office of 15. She believes PressPage would work just as well for small, rural colleges where communicators often have dual roles.
Even in Corpus Christi, the site has become a resource for the community at large, as well as those interested in the college.
“You might have Mom and Dad researching, or a potential student researching your institution,” Eddleman says, “and they come across the news and—‘Oh, OK’—they see all the different things that we do.”
Every corporate online newsroom has “musts”—the essential areas that are most visited by reporters and other key users.
At other times, the essentials have a narrower audience, as when Mayo Clinic posts a b-roll interview with a medical expert.
Either way, the two top newsrooms from widely divergent organizations offer lessons that every communicator should consider. Above all, know your business, your industry and the news media well enough to anticipate what will draw reporters and others.
Here are a few areas every online newsroom should offer:
Whenever possible, Mayo produces multimedia content, because journalists like to share information in ways that offer consumers a richer experience, Petrovich says. Similarly, visitors are more like to share multimedia content on Facebook and Twitter.
B-roll is in high demand with reporters at downsizing news outlets that are stretched thin, Petrovich says. TV reporters now must handle social media, and newspaper reporters have to shoot video.
A story on the clinic’s first face transplant story was a prime example of media outlets using b-roll that Mayo produced. To protect the patient’s privacy, the clinic recorded interviews with him and made those available, along with interviews with physicians.
Recognizing that viewers often access video where they can’t play the sound, Mayo has taken to adding captions on all its video stories. This isn’t for journalists, who get captionless video, but for consumers who might have muted their devices when they auto-play.
“We realize that not every story can be heard at all times,” Petrovich says.
At Nissan, “the bread-and-butter stuff is the stories,” says Brad Nevin, editor-in-chief for its global communications website platforms.
Nevin used to work at Car and Driver magazine, so he is familiar with the needs of automotive journalists. They want to get on Nissan’s site, get the information they seek and get off. They prefer straightforward navigation that makes clear how to find the assets they are seeking.
“Sites get into trouble when they try to be too fancy and too designed, where there are all sorts of bells and whistles that aren’t helpful to finding information."
Have you made it easy to find the news that reporters most often seek from your site, such as executive bios or content supporting major product launches?
When reporters are slamming out a story on quarterly results, they don’t have time to scour your site looking for scattered data, pictures, YouTube streams or transcripts of the speech the CEO delivered when announcing the results. Corral all these assets in one location.
“It’s putting everything in place on one page,” Nevin says. “You get everything you want very easily and quickly.”
In addition to announcements of results, Nissan also posts transcripts of speeches at significant venues, such as the Detroit Auto Show. Reporters will love you for transcripts. Cutting and pasting from transcripts reduces reporting time—and the likelihood of transcription errors by the journalist.
Speaking of auto shows, Nissan creates event pages where fans and journalists can find the content.
With major industry events, offer press releases, videos and other assets, as Nissan did for this year’s Beijing Auto Show. Also, when you anticipate a spike in viewers because of an event, give IT a heads-up in advance, Nevin advises.
“We know that at Detroit auto show, those views are much higher than they usually are,” Nevin says.
Mayo has 4,000 experts in medical science who have all kinds of information at their fingertips, Petrovich says. What makes for compelling newsroom content, however, is the intersection of such science and conversational storytelling.
As an 80-year-old company, Nissan has a heritage page that offers resources for fans and journalists looking for former iterations of its cars. This can be useful for automotive writers who wish to discuss changes in a model over the years. Such sites can be hits with fans, as well.
Nissan offers interesting oddities such as 1935 footage of its manufacturing process and a short film titled “Beauty that is the envy of Hollywood.” The latter was shot in 1937, “when it was still rare for even Hollywood movies to be in full color,” Nissan states.
“I think of myself as the librarian for all our assets in our company,” Nevin says, “and it’s all organized on the menus.”
Mobile use is going up, and journalists—like everybody else—frequently access organizations’ sites from their smartphones.
Nissan has moved away from an app is designing its web newsroom to be mobile-responsive, adjusting to the size of the viewers’ screen. Nevin doubts that journalists are doing their major work on a tiny handheld device, but they still use smartphones to view content from the organizations they cover.
This revised article has been published before on PRdaily.com on May 30, 2018.
Become a what? A “Brand Journalist”? What’s that you say? It’s part of the communication fabric of the here and now and future.
First, us traditional PR pros at branded companies pitched stories to journalists so that they could have sources and information to write their stories. Now, they’re the journalists too.
What changed? Well, for starters, the Internet went platinum. All of a sudden anyone could use a platform to publish their own content, then images, and then videos. Now, brands can use a combined set of tools to bring their press rooms to life.
Here are some ideas on how to become a brand journalist:
In formulating a press room, most companies will go to the basics. “Let’s include our latest press releases, media coverage, logos, press contact, and more!” Not so much with a branded journalistic press room. The idea is to bring people in. To teach them. To inspire them. The branded press room is more about positioning and differentiation than it is about promotion. To be the thought leader, you have to lead with content that is thought-provoking, authentic, builds trust, and that readers want to read.
While the content of your press room will cover topics close to your brand, there’s not always the need to mention your products, if at all. Those links can live above your branded press room in the nav bar. What you’re going for in the branded press room is a deeper dive into why it really matters why you’re focused as a business on these topics, who’s behind the topics, where did they originate, by whom, and what’s the future.
It’s important that the people behind your words are identifiable as leaders in your sector or business. By leveraging the people in your organization, you’re giving credibility to your press room, its message, and your brand. Just having any person write your content won’t fly as you will need to put a face to your marketing. Those authors can also go offline and become part of a speaker tour or be quoted in articles on related subjects. Build your brand!
Go beyond the traditional press room and include video and audio clips. Even slate in social media so that your readers can tweet from within your content. Use a lot of images to engage the readers too.
Optimize your content for search on page and behind it. Your branded press room will have so much natural content that it will be a goldmine for search. Make sure to categorize your videos, blog posts, and audio files. Add search phrases to content and hashtag when sharing on social.
I would think that this would be the hardest part. How do you convince others to share your branded content? Invite them to contribute, mention their companies/people, speak at their conferences or invite them to speak at yours. Or, just tap your stakeholders to share your content. Simply just tweeting out the latest blog post isn’t enough. There needs to be a sound strategy that helps get the message out to the right people at the right time.
See, there’s a lot more that can be done to a press room if you’re a brand journalist.
In this article, 7 Public Relations professionals reveal their secrets about how to write a press release and capturing a journalist’s attention in today's vibrant media landscape.
Their advice covers a broad range of topics from optimizing your headlines and quotes, leveraging social media, to maintaining key relationships with the press. Read their top 5 tips on how to write a press release:
Still curious about best practices for writing press releases? Read out our article on examples of press releases for some inspiration.
Today, the brand combines its legendary and classy style with a hip lifestyle image. The watchmaker’s recent and unique collaboration with motorcycle company Indian is a great example of how they captured an iconic spirit into a series of three one-of-a-kind timepieces.
Baume & Mercier puts a lot of effort in making its timepieces appealing to a younger crowd. With its Clifton Sports collection, the brand brings it classic and legendary style to a new generation of users.
PressPage is proud to serve Baume & Mercier with their online newsroom.
PR meets social selling
The concept of social selling is being widely adopted by sales organizations. It is based on leveraging your commercial team’s social network in finding the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately, convert these relationships to sales goals. PR-generated content will allow your sales force to convey your organization’s added vlaue and establish their individual expert profiles to the benefit of these commercial goals.
Key webinar takeaways
This webinar discusses how comms-generated content enables your sales force to embrace social selling. Learn how to align content with the bottlenecks of your sales funnel and elevate your PR department from a cost center to a profit center.
Jock Breitweiser is an experienced communications veteran having held several positions as PR lead, including TriNet. In this webinar, Jock will explain the basics of the social selling concept, why it is gaining such momentum, and how PR can support this process to actively and achieve bottom-line results.
In this webinar you will learn:
Why should PR support sales team with comms-generated content
How to identify and understand key bottlenecks in your sales process
How to align PR activities with the sales funnel and obtain sales’ buy-in
How to develop the professional profile of your sales team’s members
How to develop their social network
How to provide sales with the right digital content to enable their commercial processes
And… How to show the ROI of comms in the commercial process
You can register now to save your seat. After registration you will receive a confirmation email with your own personal link to attend the webinar. Can't attend live? You should still register! We'll be sending out the recording to all registrants after the webinar.
The team’s cyclists work hard to manage their diabetes in combination with their lives as professional bike racers. The team reflects this on its website, which showcases all of their racing activities, inspirational stories and qualitative and educational activities.
Although the site provides a continuous stream of great content that is a tremendous source of information for fans, and an inspiration for people living with diabetes, the team’s public relations efforts were eager to incorporate a more media savvy strategy into their website.
PressPage’s purpose-built PR platform provides the team with the ultimate workflow to create and distribute their media releases and analyze readership and editorial conversion.
“In addition to racing, media is very important to Team Novo Nordisk. Our goal is to reach everyone in the world affected by diabetes, give them role models and inspire them to chase their own dreams,” said Team Novo Nordisk Senior Director of Public Relations Fitzalan Crowe.