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How to Create News Releases for Social Audiences

How to Create News Releases for Social Audiences

Whether or not your organization has embraced social media, you definitely should socialize your news releases so they more effectively reach and resonate with your online audiences – who, by the way, have expanded to include a whole new set of influencers. Today your releases need to be meaningful, interactive and contextual to rise above the online clutter and get read and shared.

Write a Good Story

Socializing a news release starts with creating a good, solid story. You still need to incorporate all the facts, but weave them into a story format so it’s an interesting read – and make it shareable.

For example, take a look at this KFC Canada news release announcing a new burger. The first paragraph of the copy could have simply stated the facts: “KFC Canada announces a new burger that features two breaded, white meat chicken fillets.”

Instead, KFC took a different approach. Starting with a unique hashtag to encourage sharing, the lead-in copy immediately generates excitement with its selection of mouth-watering adjectives and words that convey this is something special. And, of course, an embedded photo of “The Big BOSS” is an absolute must.

There’s a #NewBOSSInTown, Canada.

Starting today, KFC Canada is taking on the iconic double burger with a crispy chicken twist. The new KFC Canada Big BOSS sandwich features two 100% white meat chicken fillets.

Although it might look familiar, what’s especially unique about The Big BOSS is that in addition to special sauce, pickles, lettuce, cheese, onions and a sesame seed bun, it offers what only KFC can. The Big BOSS features two crispy, juicy KFC white meat chicken fillets that are hand-breaded and freshly prepared at KFC.

So what if you’re not launching a mass-appeal consumer product? The storytelling approach still works. Let’s say you’re announcing a product upgrade and your audience is a technical B2B audience. When you write your copy, humanize the story by weaving in precisely how the upgrade improves the user experience. Include a quote from a customer to add first-hand narrative. And include a visual or two to illustrate your points. An embedded video of the product in use expands on the release’s shareability even more.

Assess Value and Impact

Before you jump into writing your copy, there are a few questions you can ask to make sure your story is newsworthy and relevant, while at the same time, thinking about how to share your news story beyond your journalist community. Social media-friendly releases are accessed by all of your stakeholders, including consumers, so you want to ask some simple starter questions, which include:

  • 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?

Socializing your news releases means they have depth and breadth and can be shared in many different communities by many different people beyond your media contacts. You’re creating a “pull” effect vs. a “push” effect with your social community members. Bloggers, consumers, influencers, employees, investors, etc., who consume the information will naturally continue the social sharing with their friends.

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