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5 Steps to Socializing Your News Releases



5 Steps to Socializing Your News Releases

Your organization is getting more social. You’ve linked your website and newsroom to your company social media profiles and you’re sharing important content through these new channels. At the same time your social media ambassadors are tweeting and posting on your behalf. But what about your company news announcements? Are you socializing your news releases so they’re more meaningful, interactive and contextual for your audiences – and more likely to be shared?

Turn on the social media functionality and suddenly you’re able to broaden your brand’s visibility as well as uncover new audiences and markets. You’re also able to deliver your perspective on a local community issue, or become a part of a larger breaking news story that’s making national or international headlines.

If you’re ready to socialize your releases, here are five simple steps to raise the bar on news release engagement and relevancy, and, ultimately, how your news is perceived in the market:

STEP 1: CREATE GREAT CONTENT WITH AN EXTENDED REACH

Start with a good, solid story. Here are some questions you can ask to make sure your story is newsworthy and relevant to all of your stakeholders:

  • Will anyone want to read/care about my news and then share it with colleagues, friends, family, and peers?
  • What meaning does my story have to the intended audience … does it provide education, offer value or benefit to the community, give a useful “how to” approach and/or practice, or reveal new groundbreaking information?
  • Would the information be better communicated in a different format other than a news release?
  • How will my story impact the community and is my news related to important community issues and activities?

STEP 2: UNDERSTAND THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS

Getting technical is an exercise in learning how greater interaction leads to more activity around your story. These technical functions break down into four easily identifiable areas — try to incorporate each of these elements in your news releases:

  • Use searchable keywords for optimized search engine results. Include the words people frequently use to search for topics that fall within the body of your release content.
  • Include hyperlinks to access more valuable content. Google may have said “no” to news release links by requiring a “no follow” tag, decreasing SEO value. However, stories with hyperlinks become credible resources by helping your audience learn about the entire story beyond your part.
  • Expand the multimedia content. Adding embedded video, interactive presentations, infographics with visual data points, and/or compelling images improves visual clarity and supports the story’s messages so they are understood and have a greater impact on your audience.
  • Use hashtags for contextual community sharing. If a trending topic applies to your business, event, or news story at hand, add that hashtag to your release. You can also create your own hashtag for your social-friendly release, letting audiences search, find and then carry a story even further into their social communities.

STEP 3. NOTE CHANNEL-SHARING DIFFERENCES

Look at every social channel through a different lens. Every community has a culture with norms, a language and an accepted way of sharing the community-critical news and information. Knowing the culture of sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest allows you to capitalize on what the community wants you to share with them and to know who’s driving the conversations.

There are specific strategies for making your news releases appealing to your target audiences based on which social channels they frequent. The days of sending a ‘one-size-fits-all’ news release are gone. How you write your headlines, the tone of your messages and what types of images you include all play a big role in whether your news resonates with the right people or gets lost in the social noise.

STEP 4. RAISE REPORTING/MEASUREMENT STANDARDS

You can clearly see who is interested in your news and what kind of authority and influence they have in a community. Understanding why different analytics matter and how you can use them properly for your measurement program will help you to move forward strategically, further proving the value of your news release program.

Whatever definition of success you use, it all comes down to one question: How is what you do going to help your organization achieve its goals?

To ensure that you provide meaningful, actionable insights and not a series of bar and pie charts that don’t offer value, begin with defining objectives, then agreeing on which metrics will best measure your progress, and finally, ensuring clean, spam-free data that your organization can use to make strategic business decisions.

STEP 5. BOOKMARK YOUR BEST EXAMPLES

Find good examples of how other companies socialize their news releases and learn from them. KFC Canada is one example of a socialized news release at its best. Introducing KFC Canada’s new double burger “The Big BOSS,” the release prominently features the campaign hashtag #NewBOSSInTown to reinforce the marketing campaign promoting the burger and encourage sharing. The company also incorporates multiple sharing and viewing options, a link to the company’s website, and a high-res, mouth-watering photo of The Big BOSS.

Don’t stop at simply socializing your website and company newsroom and just sharing content through your social media channels. Take the extra steps to socialize your news releases by applying the tips offered here. Socializing your news releases not only makes your company more social, but also more socially accepted. Your news and storytelling improves visibility and pickup, and that leads to greater brand recognition, better customer/stakeholder/influencer allegiance, and easier sales.


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