Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight
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Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight
Social marketing, PR insight & thought leadership - from The PR Coach
Curated by Jeff Domansky
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July 14, 2017 10:50 PM
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The world's worst press release and the disgrace of the fear industry

The world's worst press release and the disgrace of the fear industry | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

The world's worst press release landed in my inbox the other day.

Competition is stiff for that title but this release, which came with the subject line, "Lifesaving information for Chicago citizens," ran away with the crown.

After a cheery, "Hi Mary," it began:

"We are only a little over a halfway through with 2017 and Chicago's violence shows no signs of stopping."

No argument there. Violence is the curse, the tragic flaw, the interminable disease of this great city — a psychological undercurrent even in the many neighborhoods that rarely witness it; and this wasn't the first press release I've ever gotten that takes note of that fact. I routinely get pitches involving violence, some with ideas that sound productive, like programs that work with kids in struggling parts of town.

The world's worst press release wasn't one of those.

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Not the worst news release I've ever seen but pretty bad. A nothingburger.

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November 2, 2016 11:10 PM
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How Do You Promote an Indestructible Lawn Mower? With a Press Release Made of Steel

How Do You Promote an Indestructible Lawn Mower? With a Press Release Made of Steel | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it
We've seen a lot of intentionally silly press releases over the years. But this one, sent out by Colle+McVoy for client Cub Cadet, is not kidding around.


The Minneapolis agency recently helped the industrial brand launch a new line of Cub Cadet PRO Z commercial riding mowers. These are seriously badass machines. They have the only Triple 7-gauge steel deck on the market—the thickest, strongest steel deck in the industry. Landscapers apparently love the stuff, as it lets them clear rugged ground without worrying about destroying the mower.


So, what kind of press release does such a Terminator-style mower deserve? One that's also made out of Triple 7-gauge steel, of course.


You can see more photos of the thing below, which was sent to consumer and trade media. It weighs 14 pounds, 13 ounces, the agency tells us. It's the standard 8.5-by-11 inches, but its 0.625-inch thickness is impressive. 


Oh, and this "press release on steroids" was also shipped in a custom crate with a crowbar. Because you can always use an extra crowbar....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Now that's a press release with a strong lede. Sometimes a stunt is the best way to get attention.

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September 7, 2016 9:41 PM
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Journalists' Advice on How to Write Press Releases They'll Actually Read

Journalists' Advice on How to Write Press Releases They'll Actually Read | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

Marketers and public relations professionals can find plenty of advice on how to write a press release, but rarely is that advice directly from the journalists that press releases attempt to engage.

It turns out, journalists have a lot to say about press releases. It also turns out that marketers have a lot to learn.

Although I recently joined an inbound marketing agency, I'm a 25-year veteran the Chicago Sun-Times and the Contra Costa Times, among other. For decades I started my mornings weeding through the press releases in my inbox, one finger hovering over the "delete" key and ready to strike.

Wondering whether things have gotten better lately, I reached out to several journalist friends.

"Most of what I get is garbage," said Mary Pols, a longtime Portland Press-Herald/Sunday Telegram reporter who has also worked at the Los Angeles Times.

Ouch.

Follow these top 9 recommendations to stand out....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Press releases aren't necessarily dead but they do have to be much better. Journalists offer a collection of 9 tips to get it right.

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June 4, 2016 12:25 PM
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Tribune Publishing, now ‘tronc,’ issues worst press release in the history of journalism

Tribune Publishing, now ‘tronc,’ issues worst press release in the history of journalism | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

It has been a tense spring in the realm of big-time newspaper consolidation. Back in April, Gannett, owner of more than 100 newspapers across the country, including the flagship USA Today, made a roughly $400 million takeover bid for the Tribune Publishing, owner of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and several other titles.


The intervening weeks have seen a great deal of maneuvering by Tribune Chairman Michael Ferro to rebuff the bid, an effort that advanced Thursday with the news that Gannett may be backing off its bid in light of “expectations” that Tribune shareholders would back management in a critical vote.


[VIDEO: Tribune rejects Gannett’s bid again]


Amid all this business, the Tribune lost its mind, in a press release. First, it renamed and rebranded itself:


On June 20, we'll be tronc. Yep. tronc. pic.twitter.com/PvK8jtrQbp— Michael Zajakowski (@zajakowski) June 2, 2016


“Tronc” stands for “Tribune online content,” or, as this tronc press release renders it in smaller case: “tribune online content.” So obsessed is the new, rebranded company with the Web’s lower-case vibe that its press release starts various sentences that way. ...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Buzzwords and lower-case letters abound. Hope for the survival of the entity formerly known as the Chicago Tribune? Not so much. And the news release? One of the worst examples of baffling, befuddling, techno-speak-filled, corporate jargon laden press release ever seen. And I've seen a lot of them.

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March 29, 2016 1:34 AM
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The News Release is Finished

The News Release is Finished | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

Steve Waddington’s opinion piece in The Drum explains that the news release isn’t dying.


I agree, but not for the reasons he lays out.


Maybe the news release isn’t dying…but it’s not been very useful for a long time.


Of course, the concept of sending media professionals a summary or synopsis to propose a story idea is not dead, nor will it ever be as long as there are still reporters to pitch (but that’s a subject for another day.)


Let’s face it, that’s all the news release was ever supposed to be since its inception more than 100 years ago.


It’s a story pitch, and if our clients or bosses insist on calling it a news release, why waste energy in objecting?...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Is the news release dead? Sherrilynne Starkie makes the case for using it to get stories placed as being dead, but argues there is a use for it.

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February 3, 2016 1:39 AM
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#PRin2016: The Evolution of the News Release

#PRin2016: The Evolution of the News Release | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

In this sea of newness, the most important thing hasn’t changed: Growing relationships matters, and that means thoughtfulness pays off. If you give journalists what they want, how they want it, and make it easier for journalists to do their jobs, your brand will earn more positive coverage.


Many other familiar guidelines still matter as well: write well, include contact info, target wisely (relevance is key to growing any online relationship), keep subject lines and headlines honest and concise, etc.


The new…But giving journalists what they want isn’t what it used to be. The most relevant, well written news release in the world won’t get you where you want to go if you simply put it on the wires as a plain-Jane, text release. The bar on releases has gotten much higher. And a creative approach to releases now pays off....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

News releases aren’t merely alive. When well executed, releases can help brands amplify messages more effectively than ever before.

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December 23, 2015 1:59 AM
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History of the Press Release: Gaining Value from Tactics New and Old

History of the Press Release: Gaining Value from Tactics New and Old | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

While many find the press release to be an antiquated and now inefficient method of delivering content, the truth is that the press release is far from dead.


There are many audiences online who still rely on press releases as key sources of information.


Be it tradition or its deep roots, they continue to be used, and by more than just public relations (PR) departments. Except nowadays, many different types of press releases serve many different purposes.


But if you’re interested in creating effective and relevant press releases for distribution, you’ll have to understand the history, its evolution in a growing content universe, and all of the options you have available to you.


Consider this a crash course in all things press release...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

If you’re interested in creating effective and relevant press releases for distribution, you’ll have to understand the history, its evolution in a growing content universe, and all of the options you have available to you.

Marco Favero's curator insight, December 23, 2015 5:45 AM

aggiungere la vostra comprensione ...

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November 10, 2015 11:16 PM
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How to Write Press Releases: Best Practices for Content Discovery [SlideShare]

How to Write Press Releases: Best Practices for Content Discovery [SlideShare] | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

If you want your press release to be discovered – by search engines, journalists, customers or investors – your entire press release process needs to be focused on providing an engaging experience for your audience.

On their own, an eye-catching photo, interesting headline or robust distribution aren’t necessarily going to save a press release that has been carelessly planned and executed in other ways. From beginning to end, you must be thorough and consistent.

The following four steps will get you started when crafting a press release that cuts through the clutter and makes a lasting impression....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

PR Newswire shares four useful tips for better news releases.

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July 21, 2015 1:26 AM
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How Google’s Panda Algorithm Affected the PR Industry - SEMrush

How Google’s Panda Algorithm Affected the PR Industry - SEMrush | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

Google is constantly changing its algorithms. We all know about Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird, but what people often forget is that each one is periodically updated, often without any confirmation or announcement by Google.


The latest known Panda update is Google Panda 4.1, according to the Moz Google algorithm change history log, which has had a profound effect on PR agencies.


The Panda algorithm, in particular, has made huge waves across the PR industry. According to the article ‘Did Google Panda 4.0 Go after Press Release Sites?,’ industry expert Barry Schwartz launched a study which revealed prominent PR agencies like PR Newswire, BusinessWire, and PRWeb lost up to 85% of their visibility within a matter of days.


 Studies like this demonstrate that PR agencies are intertwined with the SEO industry, and must adapt or perish in a changing environment....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Learn how PR and SEO go hand in hand for results.

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June 3, 2015 2:42 AM
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19 Press Release Distribution Tips From The Pros - Fit Small Business

19 Press Release Distribution Tips From The Pros - Fit Small Business | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

You have exciting news to share about your company, but how do you get the word out? One of the most effective strategies is to create and distribute a press release.


With an attention-grabbing title and the right hook, your company news can be shared with the right audience at the right time.


Do you need help getting started? We’ve talked before about how to format a press release and even included a template here. We’ve also shared 28 great examples of real press releases from the pros. And, in case you need an in depth analysis of which press release distribution service is best, we’ve got you covered too....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

News releases can still valuable tool. Here are 19 tips to help you do a better job with your distribution.

Juanika S. Freeman's curator insight, June 5, 2015 3:20 PM

Yes people still send press releases.  Do you have any good tips for small businesses?

www.OneTechGirl.com #OTG #onetechgirl #techgirl #webdesign #smallbusiness

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April 16, 2015 6:28 PM
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The pros and cons of Google's new press release policy

The pros and cons of Google's new press release policy | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

Google likes to keep us PR pros on our toes.

Last year the big update to search results came through the “nuclear bomb” that was Panda 4.0. The age of the keyword was essentially over, and proper storytelling blogs and press releases were in. Many claimed that SEO was on its way out completely.

Recently, Google made even more changes. Though the advent of Panda 4.0 made press releases seem borderline useless, the search engine has now revalued them. There’s one big alteration, though, that changes the way savvy PR pros should use press releases....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

News releases and SEO are a balancing act. Here's what matters to Google.

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February 23, 2015 10:57 PM
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10 ways to draw more attention to your press release

10 ways to draw more attention to your press release | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

With so many press releases crossing the wires every day, it’s a wonder anyone ever sees the fruits of your hard work on your press release. 

From keeping your headlines short to focusing on your keywords and including a call to action, use this infographic from Erv

But there are several ways—10 listed here—to get more eyin & Smith to help you get the most out of your press releases:...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Ten practical tips to pump up the results from your press releases.

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January 6, 2015 2:30 AM
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The Pros and Cons of Social Media Press Releases

The Pros and Cons of Social Media Press Releases | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it
If you’re in charge of your company’s public relations, one form of outreach that you may have questions about are social media press releases. A social media press release isn't all that different from a traditional online release, but there are some differences you should pay attention to. With the addition of images, videos, and other multimedia formats, a social media press release is simply one that you distribute via social networks, along with the more traditional online wire services....
Jeff Domansky's insight:
A social media press release isn't all that different from a traditional online release, but there are some differences you should pay attention to.
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December 30, 2016 11:00 PM
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The most vacuous press release ever: Revolt PR - without bullshit

The most vacuous press release ever: Revolt PR - without bullshit | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it
Sometimes, when I boil down a piece of writing, I find nuggets of truth embedded within a matrix of jargon and bullshit. But sometimes, I just find nothing but platitudes, emptiness, and evidence of incompetence. That’s the apparent communications strategy of Revolt PR.

Here’s what the press release says: Revolt PR believes it can help you reach millennials, and it has a new web site. It takes 270 words to say so. And it’s a revealing exercise in why, if you have nothing to say, you should say nothing.
Jeff Domansky's insight:

Josh Bernoff dissects a PR news release failure along with  a few plagiarism, spelling and fact checking issues from this LA PR agency. Ouch!

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October 17, 2016 1:11 AM
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Press releases: how to go beyond waste, fraud, and abuse - without bullshit

Press releases: how to go beyond waste, fraud, and abuse - without bullshit | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

I spent 20 years as an analyst at Forrester Research. During that time, I received 10,000 press releases. I estimate that about 200 had even the tiniest amount of relevance to me. Even of those 200, 80% of the words were meaningless fluff.

 

That’s about about 20,000 meaningful words out of 8.5 million total words, for a pathetic little meaning ratio of: 0.2%.

 

That is waste on an epic scale.Christopher Penn’s analysis shows how useless releases arePenn, who is VP of Marketing at Shift, a PR firm, shares a few press release facts that he figured out:PR people create 1,000 press releases a day. They’ve created 236,356 of them this year.

 

The median number of clicks on one of those releases is zero.The median number of social media shares is two.The median number of inbound links is one.And as Penn points out, since Google devalued press release distribution, they add no SEO value, either....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Josh Bernoff dishes on new releases and says fuggedaboutit.

cateringfungal's comment, October 17, 2016 11:29 PM
great
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July 12, 2016 12:56 AM
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How to Write Press Release Headlines That People Actually Read

How to Write Press Release Headlines That People Actually Read | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

In thinking about how to prepare this post, I couldn’t help but remember the 2006 Samuel Jackson movie, Snakes on a Plane. The name of the movie always makes me squirm because it gives away just how awful the plot line is by providing a correspondingly awful title. The title did receive a lot of press, albeit for how controversial it was.


However, when it comes to your press release, you want your headline to work across the board. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of equally distressing or controversial headlines found in press releases.


To be fair, I haven’t actually seen Snakes on a Plane. And, in all honesty, the title has its good points: It’s succinct and we get a very clear vision of what the movie is all about. If only all press release headlines incorporated that measure of clarity, but without the negative press attention. Take a look at a couple of examples of headlines that make you go hmmm….

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Here's a recipe for writing stronger news release headlines that get attention.

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May 19, 2016 6:01 PM
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5 tips for SEO-savvy news releases

5 tips for SEO-savvy news releases | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

It can be difficult to get a news release approved internally—even without thinking about search engine optimization.
However, if exposure, disclosure or page views are your goals, you must heed content discoverability and make your release SEO-friendly.

A list of search engine violations and penalties shows ways your content can fail to attract attention online. This applies to all your owned media content—including your website and news releases.

What makes some releases more successful than others in terms of drawing traffic? They’re written with healthy SEO features. These successful news releases appeal to Google’s latest algorithm, which rewards high-quality, unique and non-spam content.

Follow these five simple steps to create releases that can rank high in search results....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Five SEO tips that will help you get better search results from your news releases.

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March 14, 2016 4:34 PM
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Business Wire and Edelman Announce Study Results Supporting Visual Storytelling in Earnings Reporting | Business Wire

Business Wire and Edelman Announce Study Results Supporting Visual Storytelling in Earnings Reporting | Business Wire | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

Business Wire and Edelman Financial Communications & Capital Markets today announce the results of a new study supporting the use of visual storytelling in earnings reporting.

In total, 300 retail investors, more than 20 Wall Street professionals and select financial media professionals were surveyed about how earnings data is consumed, comparing traditional quantitative earnings releases with releases featuring visual, creative assets.

The conclusion was a clear consensus that using visual storytelling as a supplementary tool aids in the ultimate goals of investor relations professionals....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

You'd think this would be obvious, but investor relations has rarely innovated nor been effectively creative in its presentations in the past.

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January 27, 2016 11:48 PM
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The State of Multimedia in Press Releases [Study + Infographics]

The State of Multimedia in Press Releases [Study + Infographics] | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

PR Newswire has advised our clients to include images and video in their press releases for a number of years, and we are now seeing a much greater usage than previously. In 2015, 42% of releases included visual elements.

This is a sharp increase from the mere 14% we saw the last time we analyzed these numbers in 2013; however, there is still room for improvement. When you look at last year’s 100 most viewed press releases, 68 included multimedia, a 42% increase compared to 2013’s top 100.

It’s clear that the use of multimedia in press releases is quickly becoming standard practice within the industry. With the continued influx of visuals across the larger communications landscape, I expect these numbers to continue to climb....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Visuals enhance viewership of news releases according to the latest PRNewswire research.

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November 23, 2015 6:56 PM
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The best time to send a press release

The best time to send a press release | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

When you should—or shouldn't—send press releases over the wire is a popular topic.

We found that Monday, Tuesday and 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern were the most popular times to send a press release. Our advice was to publish releases later in the day and week so your news didn't get lost in the commotion. Remember, all this is from 2013.

This year, we took our research a step further. First, we analyzed the distribution of more than 100,000 press releases published via Marketwired, PRWeb and PR Newswire in 2015. Second, we determined how many times each release was shared across nine social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Latest research confirms what we've always known: it's the "news" not the noise that counts!

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October 11, 2015 1:50 AM
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3 Creative Alternatives to the Press Release

3 Creative Alternatives to the Press Release | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

The weight of a press release from an SEO standpoint has evolved both on and offline. Whether or not it’s actually beneficial really depends on several key factors. If you’re a well-known B2B (or even B2C) business with a hefty budget and clout among your targeted demographic, then a press release could be beneficial as your news is less likely to get lost in the mad shuffle of it all and hit some major media headlines.


However, if you’re a small to medium-size business focused on a local or niche demographic, there are other avenues you can (and should) utilize to get your news circulating within appropriate channels. Most of us have to adhere to a marketing budget, and let’s be honest, press releases are quite pricey and rarely give us much bang for our buck.


Here are 3 creative alternatives to the press release that our team has found to be much more effective for the small to medium-sized business, and much easier on your pocket book!...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Three press release alternatives worth considering.

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June 24, 2015 3:54 PM
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Chevy issues an all-emoji press release

Chevy issues an all-emoji press release | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

Here’s how Chevrolet introduced its press release announcing the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze:
Words alone can’t describe the new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, so to celebrate its upcoming reveal, the media advisory is being issued in emoji, the small emotionally expressive digital images and icons in electronic communication. Try and decode this news or watch for the decoder at 2 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. #ChevyGoesEmoji

It’s true, PR folks. This is what the profession has come to—brands pushing out all-emoji press releases. Here it is, if your eyes can take it. At least part of it has something to do with the new model having better gas mileage....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Effective or frustrating? Sure it's attention-getting but will it generate sales? I don't think so. Effective communication is always about: message, clarity, call-to-action. I vote frustrating. 

Jeff Domansky's comment, June 24, 2015 7:04 PM
Totally agree Laura. They have no real news, so they opted for a stunt that doesn't communicate
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April 24, 2015 11:55 PM
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How to jazz up your press releases with visuals

How to jazz up your press releases with visuals | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it
A press release on its own is OK, but a visual component gives it that zing that attracts the readers you want.

Go beyond the typical company logo to put a little excitement in your press releases. Here's how:
Jeff Domansky's insight:

News releases aren't dead, but unless you add visuals yours may as well be RIP. Think product photos, video, infographics and more.

Zeina Torbey's curator insight, April 25, 2015 1:44 PM

Contenu pour le  communiqué de presse 2.0 

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April 16, 2015 3:32 AM
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Steal These 9 Ideas to Add Visual Appeal to Press Releases | Cision

Steal These 9 Ideas to Add Visual Appeal to Press Releases | Cision | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it
Let’s face it: a press release on its own is okay, but having a visual component really gives it that zing that attracts the readers you want.Go beyond the typical company logo to put a little excitement in your press releases. Here’s how....
Jeff Domansky's insight:
Visuals can increase press release reads by 5,000 percent, but what images should you include? Add visual appeal to your press releases with these nine ideas from Cision.
Marco Favero's curator insight, April 16, 2015 9:16 AM

aggiungi la tua intuizione ...

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February 12, 2015 2:45 AM
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10 Must Dos When Distributing Your Press Release | Visually

10 Must Dos When Distributing Your Press Release | Visually | Public Relations & Social Marketing Insight | Scoop.it

According to Hubspot researcher Dan Zarella, the short answer is yes. Online press release are viewed an average of 275 times during the week and media views account for at least another 70 views. The more eyeballs checking out your announcement, the more likely you are to gain traction with journalists and conversions with customers.


It’s not enough, though, to simply post a few words about your company’s latest news and take the rest of the week off. Effective press releases are part art, part science. Here are 10 things you must do for maximum press release power....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Still using press releases? These 10 basic tips can get you extra coverage.

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