#NewsReleases411: Brand Credibility, Consistency and Community
This is post 4 of our 5-part blog series, “#NewsReleases411: The Who, What, and Why of Using News Releases.” Stay tuned for post 5, which will look further into the impact news releases can have on a variety of business goals.
What are some of the reasons marketing and PR pros are choosing news releases today? We spoke with Tom Gubbins, Marketwired Enterprise Account Manager, and Jane Stehney, PR director at Kelly Services and a Marketwired customer, to find out.
Gubbins, who has worked in the newswire industry for nearly 10 years, has seen communicators meet a variety of needs through news releases. “Whether (companies) are public and need to meet disclosure requirements or are private and looking to grow their brand, using the wire to distribute their news and information brings legitimacy to their news and increases their chance of being picked up by major media outlets … they are able to reach their most important audiences quickly and accurately.”
Reasons vary from company to company and campaign to campaign, but regardless of goal, news releases consistently lend credibility to a brand’s message and provide an effective and efficient means of reaching the right audiences – and not just a journalist’s inbox.
In today’s world where information is shared fast and often (every minute web users share 2.5 million pieces of content on Facebook alone), the need for credibility – and consistency – is greater than ever. For PR teams that need to reach large, varied audiences across diverse geo-locations, news releases can cut through the noise and deliver a targeted message.
Stehney says, “Within Kelly’s PR strategy, press releases are still an important component of communicating to the company’s external stakeholders – the news media, general public, candidates, clients, prospects, analyst community, etc.”
For companies such as Kelly, with various collaborators to reach, consistency of message is essential for reaching all effectively while also building and keeping trust. Gubbins explains: “A larger corporation … may have its headquarters in the U.S. (or other country), but also may have multiple divisions around the world. In situations like this, it is important for companies to have ‘one voice.’ Using (a newswire) gives them a ’voice of record’ with the media – a central location to find the company’s stance on important issues.”
A company’s one ‘voice of record’ with the media, when combined with other marketing efforts, can help to facilitate the many conversations PR practitioners want to happen around clients’ brands online. Distributed through social media, news releases can reach conversations happening among influencers from journalists to bloggers to vloggers to Twitter communities and more.
“Social media management is separate from PR, but the two disciplines work closely together,” Stehney explains. “When a release is distributed, Kelly’s social team is aware of it in advance and is prepared to share the news on Kelly’s social channels at the same time that the release crosses the newswire. Our social team then engages with our social stakeholders, answering questions and/or directing them to the appropriate corporate resource.”
Releases can serve as a hub for linking to supportive assets online, and thus, can help serve marketing functions greatly. For example, your release shared on social can drive traffic to your company’s website and to other digital assets where you can collect and convert sales leads. (For more ways news releases can serve your online marketing efforts, see piece one of this series on how news releases can help grow brand online.)
Part of Stehney’s 2015 strategy is to continue supporting engagement and overall marketing effectiveness: “In 2015 we made a commitment to include a visual or visuals (including video) with every release … additionally, we are paying closer attention to the distribution method and not relying only on a newswire distribution (which we consider important) to reach our targeted audience. We also share the news via our social channels (company and individual employees) and via internal communications.”
Social media management, marketing, and internal communications are all pieces of the puzzle that can create a picture of success for a brand. News releases offer more opportunities than they ever have to help PR and marketing work together, helping to drive brand credibility, consistency and community engagement. Are you maximizing your use of them for your company or clients?
Stay tuned for the 5th post in our fall news releases series. Until then, you can read the previous three posts here.