Despite the much-publicized demise of print media, press releases remain one of the most important weapons in the PR arsenal. News releases sometimes prompt reporters to write original articles that bear no resemblance to the original press releases, though journalists rarely credit a press release for giving them story ideas.
Press releases help promote new product launches, and joint press releases between different organizations offer outsized publicity gains a firm cannot obtain on its own. News releases announcing new hires, especially involving high-level personnel, can lead to larger stories. News releases that publicize public service activities often get exceptional play and positive response.
The PR and social media teams can extend reach of news releases by sharing them on social media, distributing them to bloggers and other influencers interested in the company’s niche, and posting them on company blogs and websites, possibly earning top billing on Google News. PR pros believe brand awareness and sales increase after they issue press releases.
The hard part is proving that value to senior management. Media monitoring and measurement services help PR overcome that challenge. Media monitoring services regularly find placements of news releases in media outlets distribute and automatically calculates reach and many other metrics in an online dashboard to gauge their impact. Stories distributed by syndication news services such as Tribune Media Services, Reuters, or Washington Post News Service and Syndicate can result in hundreds of placements. Dashboard analytics show the impact.
“Thanks to better monitoring and tracking services, tracking the true ROI of a news release has never been easier,” writes Serena Ehrlich, Business Wire director of product marketing. Measurement reports, Ehrlich explains, reveal these important insights into the effectiveness of press releases.
Examine Your Metrics
Coverage. Coverage, the first and oldest PR metric, refers to the amount of publicity your news and content generated. Coverage includes the number and reach of placements in print, online and broadcast, location within the placement, length of article, multimedia assets used, and corporate or brand messages delivered.
Visibility. How broadly was the news shared, who shared it and which audiences impacted the marketing funnel the most? Was it editorial coverage? How many influencer shares of that coverage occurred? Did employee sharing increase word-of-mouth marketing? Did the multimedia assets you included increase impact?
Geo-Impact. In what geographic regions did the news resonate? Organizations can act on this data with geographically focused advertising or a concentrated sales effort, striking while the conversational iron is hot, Ehrlich advises.
Social media mentions. Examine the number of influencers who talk about your news and the number of overall news shares. Also consider the message adoption and associated hashtags usage.
Inbound traffic. Add UTM extensions to URLs within the press release that drives traffic back to your website. After viewers click the link, you can track their actions within your website. Because some media outlets will not include hyperlinks to your website, remember that this will only be a snapshot of incoming traffic.
Owned channel registrations. Include links to your other owned channels …read more
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