The old method of getting your corporate “news” distributed:
- Paying a wire service to distribute your news release
- Begging news reporters to turn your press release into a news article
Okay, maybe begging is a bit of stretch. Public relations consultants don’t necessarily beg. They have other tools to call upon in placing “news” at media outlets.
- They call friends in the media
- They hound until a reporter gives in
- They make a great pitch
But regardless of the approach the art of media relations comes down to a PR consultant convincing a reporter or an editor to write an article.
And, unfortunately, reporters often say “No, thanks” and, as result, news that brands think is important to their customers often goes under reported (or worse unreported).
That’s not a distribution strategy.
Here’s a better idea. Revamp your digital newsroom – you know, the place where you are currently archiving news releases in chronological order – into a news center.
Forget news releases. They are boring, formulaic, and rarely read by anyone other than desk editors. Instead write the story that as a brand you’d like to see the reporters write. Write the compelling content. Write the awesome headline.
And then add a gripping image. Film the amazing video. Use the technology and multimedia tools at your disposal to present your brand news so that people – you know YOUR CUSTOMERS – will find interesting enough to read and to share.
Once the content is created there are now dozens of way to distribute to the content – through earned, owned and paid syndication.
You can still pitch the story idea to journalists – only now you can provide them with content they can use. Infographics, videos, images, etc… Your pitch becomes so much more compelling when it has supporting assets to it.
Brands have all kinds of channels that they control to push their news and content to their audiences. Here is just a sample:
- Facebook page
- Twitter handle
- Email distribution lists
- Employee and customer intranets
- Instagram accounts
- Flickr accounts
- Brand blogs
The list can go on and on. The point is “owned” channels – depending on the brand – can reach millions of people. In fact, some brands have wider distribution channels than traditional media does. Using these channels in tandem with content optimized for each channel is often better than spreading your news through third parties.
The beauty of paid distribution – which is a very different animal than paid advertising – is twofold: it’s cost-effective and highly targeted.
Just like owned media, paid distribution now has dozens of platforms to choose from:
- Facebook Sponsored Stories
- Promoted Tweets
- Viral Gains
- Blogger Networks
- Say Media
Again the list can go on. Each paid option has pros and cons and reaches different audience demographics.
The key to an effective distribution strategy is to have a mix of earned, owned and paid.
And, of course, the key to having an ineffective distribution strategy?
Relying on begging.