Hello everyone and welcome to Project Runaway: Tailoring your press materials for the digital catwalk. I am Brittani Wood, Devleopment Counsellors International’s Digital Media Manager for Tourism. For those of you who may not be familiar with us, I will give you a brief overview. DCI is the leader in marketing places, since 1960 when we were founded, we have worked over 450 cities, states, regions and countries to promote economic development, business investment and tourism growth.In this session today we will be discussing the necessary changes that we as PR professionals need to make to our materials to make them relevant and impactful in the digital age.
First we will need to reevaulate our audiences. In traditional PR, our audience was the newsroom. Travel Editors and Reporters at newspapers and magazines.Today, this has expanded to add two audiences, new media such as bloggers and online influencers and consumers who can find your press materials easily in a Google Search.Let’s tackle these one at a time, starting with media…
PwR is a company that is an expert in email communication, and the results of their 2013 Journalist Survey just came out in January87% prefer email 2.6% prefer online news rooms5% prefer Regular Mail5.5% mix of Fax, Wire Service, RSS Feed According to the 2011 survey of “Media in the Wired World” conducted by The Society for New Communications Research and Middleberg Communications, 95 percent of journalists believe that social media can be a reliable tool for sourcing stories. Moreover, 69 percent of journalists use Twitter as a tool to assist in reporting, a 21 percent increase from 2010 study.
92% relevant backgrounders, bios or other supporting information87% high res image / 47% low res image78% verbiage from a press release Up from 76% in last year’s study46% Info on brand’s social media platforms46% Link to relevant blog on the topicRounding out the top ten: Video downloadable video and embed code for video
Taking this information into account and looking at our other two audiences, let’s walk through how to makeover your press materials.First, we have the actual content of your release, which is often too long and wordy, not only for the media, but more importantly for Google.
3:1advantage in organic clicks vs. paid6:1more dollars spent on paid vs. organicOrganic is thus 18x more efficientAdvantages to ensuring good SEOUltimately less expensiveDifficult to dislodgeRewards good contentPartner to your social media efforts
Content is King, let’s talk about keywords and optomizing your press content for search engines
If you do not know what keywords your destination can rank well by using, utilize tools:Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a free tool, you just need a Gmail account
Once you have your keywords, either through your research or provided by your marketing team, you want to ensure you utilize them in your press room and within your press content. I am going to walk through some SEO elements that I have broken down to help you optomize your materials online
Your <title> tag is the place to put your page’s best keywords. In fact, the value of the words used in the tag are so potent that the search engines can deem the first word the most valuable word used, the second word next most valuable, and so on in descending order. Given this knowledge, write your <title> tag text with care.When you do your keyword research (such as with Google Adwords Keyword Planner), note the search traffic that each word or phrase generates per month. Also note how competitive the word is as well for close calls and as tie-breakers between keywords. Then use these traffic values as a general guideline to help you create your <title> tag text in descending order of value.That said, don’t make the <title> tag text a mere keyword dump field. No one wants to read a list of words. Write your <title> tag text in natural language, making it as compelling to the human reader as possible (after all, they are the ones who click the most interesting link in the SERP!).Quick tips:URL (keyword, with no/few subdirectories) Page Title (64 characters or fewer, include keywords)Optimal format is to place the keyword in front, followed by the brand (as unless your brand is amazon, few people will search by your exact brand name)Primary Keyword - Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
Headlines < 1 second, get attention to first 11 characters onlyKeyword in the 1st word or two in your headline, Need to start with Key word, helps readers find info in indexes—lists on Google and other websites, readers only read first word or two. Tips:Cover just one idea in your headline- there should be no punctuationsStrengthen the verb, sexier the verb the sexier the story– keep it in the active voice, don’t bury it behind company names Keep it short!
Thinking about the headline in SEO terms, similar to the <title> tag, the text contents of the <h1> tag also represents a description of the main theme of the page. However, while the <title> tag’s content is really only seen in the SERP’s blue link text and in the label of the tab in your browser (I’m assuming we’re all using modern desktop web browsers by now), the <h1> tag text is analogous to the on-screen headline of the page.As such, the contents of the <h1> tag also develop keyword relevance for the page. But by merely repeating the <title> tag text in the <h1> tag text, you’ve lost a great opportunity to develop other keywords for the page. I’m not saying both strings need to be completely different, but tag text duplication is a sad, missed opportunity.Length also a factor for Search Engines:Google SEO rejects headlines longer than 23 words and shorter than 2 words
While the amount of attention the headline receives may have you a bit down, here is some good newsThe Deck or subhead is read either partially or entirely by 95% of visitors . May be the only thing they are really reading. Don’t repeat one single word. 8-10 words, keep it short! Include a one sentence summary under the headline. Helps streamline the headline.
Decks provide a second level of detail: News angle, second angleGeneral news, specific detailWhat happened, now what?News, benefits
Moving onto the Lead- Intro to release. Relevant to Google:Use a keyword: use keyword2 sentences: Provide context, show reader why it’s important. Keep lead paragraph at least 2 sentences, but not more than that. Skip the fact pack—all 5 elements don’t need to be in the lead, journalists don’t do this anymore. Don’t announce that you are announcing something. Don’t load first sentence with too much information, don’t tire out your readers. Pick just two: “what” happened and “why” should I care Limit background infohard wire link and url link in parentheses.
Goes back to TechnologyBody: give journalists info they need to tell your story—list of details, Don’t use bullets, bold text or other formatting in wireless releases, try asterisks instead of bullets. Reflect the most important keywords used in the page’s body textTo get the full benefit of keyword relevance for the words used in the <title> tag text, you want to reflect important words used in the body text of the page.This tells the search engines that these words were selected for the <title> tag because they best define the overall contents of the pageShow don’t tell: use concrete evidence. While it is hard in travel marketing, limit marketing words like “world-class”, “next generation”, “custom-designed”: no one searches for these terms and it hides your key words. Target releases to be 250 words. 130 are too short to be posted and 500 word releases might be cut off.
Now that you have clear, concise and search-able content, let’s talk about what digital assets need to be included with press materials to increase pick up of the content.
50% of media say adding images maked the idea more compelling, 30% say it makes it slight more compellingThat’s 80% interest in easy-to-access imagery to support story ideasBe sure to include both high-res and low-res options, easiest way is to include in digital newsroom with the corresponding release. If your newsroom is not capable of this, create a Flickr album, YouSendIt or FTP link to go out with the release.
Another easy way to assist with sharing images is an easily transferable embed code, this is particularly useful for bloggers and online media
As we discussed earlier, over 40% of media are looking for video and video embed code to accompany stories. This means that a destination with video to support story ideas can take precedence over a destination that doesn’tA great way to provide this is to make sure you have digital footage or video, complete with embed code posted with your release. The video also helps consumers visualize the experiences in your destination if they are the ones to come across your content.
Offer media creative content to utilize in their storiesHere we have a infograph that CityPASS developed and posted on their blog of the history of NYE in Times Square. They blasted this out to media, with a link to embed code and received TK hits.Also, recipes is a great example of creative content to provide media and consumers. This recipe page on FLWC.com is in the top five most viewed pages of their website.
46% Info on brand’s social media platforms
Be sure to include share buttons in your digital newsroom, this will help drive conversation around your content
Always include the entire link in parentheses. The URL should be typed out to assist with SEOAlso, be sure to back link to your website, and the more places you push out your content, the higher it will rank in SEO Like a vote…more is betterNot like a vote, they don’t all count the sameLink keywords in your lead inbound, once or twice more to internal pages. Link to homepage in boiler page only. 1link x/100 wordsAnchor text and include url in parentheses next to it. DO NOT use <click here>Don’t embed photos in your release, include a link to it.
Short and Sweet, remember Google works through key words, so utilize those and be clear and conciseEveryone’s attn span is less
Google rejects bulleted lists, so say goodbye to your fancy formatting, which can be distorted in plain text emails to media anywayUtilize asterisks if you must create a list.
Highly branded design that will look good in all browsersContact information with email linksUse keywords and meta tags for SEOGallery of unlimited downloadable imagesRelease with less formatting on small wire distribution, link to digital versionInclude links to fact sheets, bios, websites and moreSocial media invite readers to share your news/join your networksMedia can download or copy embed code for audio/videoInclude links to fact sheets, bios, websites and more
Tailoring Press Materials for the Digital Catwalk
Tailoring Press Materials for the