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Content Marketing Tips for Press Releases

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January 3,2012

From Content Marketing Institute contributors Joe Pulizzi and Heidi Cohen

Some people think the days of the press release are dead.  Well, they aren’t…they’re just changing.

In order to get attention using press releases, you need to think much differently about the content.  Here are five “musts” when it comes to your content marketing press release strategy.

Think Press Release

Sure, there will be some times when you want to talk about yourself, but those times should be few and far between.  Remember, your customers, key reporters, and influential bloggers…none of them care about you.  Since that’s the case, you need to develop content that affects your customers or your industry.  Position yourself as a “source” of information.  Think research report, key white paper, downloadable reference piece.

Regardless of your target market, consider how you can provide content that your audience wants and is seeking to help them decide to purchase your products.

Think More Highways

Online press releases shouldn’t necessarily be leveraged to get you press. The key goal should be search engine optimization. A regular press release strategy makes sure that you and your company information can be found easily through the search engines. Plan on doing at least one per month.

The beauty of press releases is that their keyword-rich content can attract broad audiences. To be effective as content, don’t think in terms of the traditional, must-announce-internal-or-regulatory-information releases. Go for intriguing approaches to your product.

Put the Spotlight on Your Customer

Take a page from American Express, which features customers who use their product in their Open advertising and Lion Brand Yarn, which features a customer project each month in their blog. For a press release strategy, think about how to incorporate your product and something of benefit to prospective customers. For example, Lion Brand Yarn could provide a link to a pattern in their press release and give a discount on the materials. Remember to get permission and a release for using customers’ photographs. Many customers are thrilled to get the attention.

Use a Survey

Gather publishable data that the market will find interesting.  Charles Schwab’s 2010 Family & Money Survey found that twenty-somethings were more interested in financial fitness than physical fitness following the financial meltdown. Remember you’re looking for a way to get people’s attention related to a topic they’re interested in. Your offering shouldn’t be the main focus of the survey!

Do Social Good

Does your firm donate large amounts of money to not-for-profits or other causes? If so, instead of simply giving the money and issuing a press release, get customers and the public involved in the process of where to give the money to help expand your corporate giving message.

For example, Chase created a fan page to get input as to how they should distribute $5 million dollars to the community. It was so successful that they gave away another $500,000. From an engagement perspective, Chase reduced barriers to interaction as participants only needed to vote to help their neighbors.

In the release, you can insert customer videos about the occasion (that news sites LOVE to embed into their online stories).

Joe Pulizzi is a leading author, speaker and strategist for content marketing. Joe is first and foremost a content marketing evangelist, and founded the Content Marketing Institute, which includes client-vendor matching site Junta42 as well as the premier international content marketing event Content Marketing World and Chief Content Officer magazine.

Looking for broad online syndication of your content? iReach from PR Newswire can help.  Click here to find out more.

 

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