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#NewsReleases411: Using News Releases to Grow Your Brand Online

#NewsReleases411: Using News Releases to Grow Your Brand Online

This is post 1 of our 5-part blog series, “#NewsReleases411: The Who, What, and Why of Using News Releases.” Stay tuned for posts 2 – 5, which will look further into the impact news releases can have on a variety of business goals.  

In a world where consumers are content creators and everyone online has worldwide publishing power, the role of public relations has shifted. Where managing the message was once a primary goal, it’s now about facilitating the ongoing conversation in an always-on, omni-channel world. Your news release is a powerful tool in the PR toolkit to do just this.

An important factor in influencing and informing conversations both online and off, news releases are much more than simply media relations tools. They can now be effective as direct-to-consumer content marketing assets while still reaching journalists, and can help to boost online brand visibility through content syndication, content promotion, and social media storytelling. Read on to find out more about these 3 ways news releases can help grow your brand online.

Content Syndication

Content and news release syndication (partnering with other online portals to make sure new audiences get to see your content) is one way to increase web traffic and reach target audiences outside your network. “Marketers are getting much more creative and innovative by leveraging a syndication service like Marketwired to amplify their blog, drive webinar sign-ups, increase lead-gen by pushing out white papers, etc.,” says Stacey Lawson, Senior Manager, US Client Sales, Marketwired.

Supporting your existing content assets with content syndication is an effective way to drive traffic back to your owned digital assets. If you’re only interested in gaining traction among online audiences, strategic partnerships with syndication platforms can deliver that focused exposure among those who matter to you.

Online-Only Releases for Content Promotion

It sounds simple and perhaps even obvious, but if you’re creating your own newsworthy content (launching a blog series, publishing a book, etc.), issuing an online-only news release to inform your followers can create buzz before you publish. Be the first to start the conversation on social about your newsworthy upcoming blog series around a trending issue, or upcoming webinar with an in-demand influencer. Just make sure your release resonates with your audience.

“Typically, hard news (i.e. press releases) is targeted at traditional journalists, investors, analysts, etc. It’s a very different ballgame when you are promoting content,” Lawson explains. “Follow AP-style writing for your hard/material news, but loosen up a bit when you are looking to promote your blog, drive webinar sign-ups or increase marketing lead generation with white paper delivery. Think about who your audience is… and where they are.”

Writing your online-only release to fit the “voice” of the social media platform you’d ideally like to gain shares on will ensure it resonates. In your release, drive traffic back to your website for more information.

Social Media Storytelling

While not often thought of for their social shareability in and of themselves, optimized news releases have proven to be a powerful part of a brand’s social media presence. Twentyseven Global, a software engineering firm, attributes the success of their online brand in part to the social distribution of optimized news releases with custom campaign hashtags. With the help of Jennings Social Media Marketing (JSMM), this company was able to achieve first-page Google results, a 100-percent improvement in Google search placement.

Social clout not only sends signals to Google, which helps benefit SEO, but it can also grant you access to a wealth of data that can be invaluable for your brand growth. “In today’s world of SEO, it’s all about being found,” says Lawson. “Understanding how people are searching for your news is also vitally important, so tracking social data – such as campaign hashtags – from the onset can help companies tailor messages or content that launch a new conversation or assist them in participating in one that is trending.”

Stay tuned for the second post in our fall news releases series, which will look at the benefits of using news releases for your startup or growing business. 

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