(After good morning/intros) Amy Some of you may be signed up already for our press release service – which is great – because we’ll be going over ways to leverage the releases you already get in other innovative ways. For those of you who aren’t signed up for the service already, you’ll get a good idea of how it works, why it’s beneficial, and if your newspaper is taken – other ways you can still take part. First, Heather will go over the general idea of our press release program.Heather The GBL Press Release Program is a complimentary service we provide to our agents. You can simply call me to sign up for your local newspaper - there can only be one agent per newspaper. Once you are signed up, we send the press release to the newspaper on your behalf (no set timeline – try for one press release every two months) – there is no extra work created for you. All we ask is that you send us a copy of the newspaper page if the article is published. If your newspaper is taken, don’t worry, there are other options, which we’ll get talk about more in a few minutes. You also control the program. If we have a press release that you don’t want us to send, you can just let me know and I won’t send that release.
HEATHER You may be wondering, “why should I sign up?” and “does this program really work?”The agents that have been running press releases with us in the last year have had some great results – just like the agent quoted here. She had six calls and wrote two policies – this was after we set the Medicare Open Enrollment press release to her newspaper. I currently send press releases to 120 newspapers on behalf of 50 of our agents, but I would love to be sending more!
Amy Today, we’re going to go over five innovative ways you can use our press release service and explain how we can help you and be the marketing department extension of your agency. We’ll start by helping you brainstorm other community publications you can use releases in and end with some more advanced marketing strategies and explain how we can help.
Amy First up, use press releases in other community publications. Whether you live in a small, rural community or a big city, there are always publications beyond the newspaper if you think creatively. Associations – do you have relationships with any membership associations or clubs? Kiwanis? Knights of Columbus? A labor association? In a larger community, are there housing associations? Firefighters associations? Thinking even bigger than that – do you have relationships with statewide associations? For example, one of our agents works with the Iowa Optometric Association and is able to send communication to all of the eye doctors in Iowa. If you have these relationships, ask them how they communicate with their members and if they believe there would be value in getting informational insurance articles. Chambers – Huge opportunities here for mid- to large-sized towns. Many Chambers have newsletters and/or websites you can submit information to – especially if you’re a paying member of the Chamber. Banks/Credit Unions – Go to your local bank branch (if they’re not a competitor of yours!) and see if they’ll partner with you and let you distribute insurance information. Churches – Can you submit short articles to church bulletins or on their website if they have one? Hospitals – Not only do they generally have employee newsletters you can use, they often send community publications about different hospital events. See if you can partner with them – as it’s a very sensible partnership. Schools – Do the schools have monthly newsletters? Do they send emails to parents? Can you partner with the school nurse to get insurance information out about child-only enrollment periods and CHIIP? Senior Clubs – Is there a 50 and over club that gets together and plays cards? How do they communicate? Do they email? Can you get permission to email them Medicare/retirement information? Libraries – Ask if you can post information on their website or on their community bulletin boards. If they have regular emails to patrons, ask if they’ll be willing to send information on your behalf. If you think of any potential relationships, contact us and we can work with you to submit press releases to any of these types of publications on your behalf in addition to any newspapers.
HEATHER Have you always wanted to start an email marketing program or even a paper newsletter to send to clients, but you didn’t know what to write about? No worries! You can use these press releases in client emails or even paper newsletters. GBL also has several articles that are available on our agent portal that you can use for content. And if you’re not sure how to start doing email marketing, just call Amy or me. We’d be happy to meet with you and get you started with your very own agency newsletter.
Amy Very similar to finding other groups with publications in your community – but look through your list of group clients or get a list of larger employers in your community. Do they have employee newsletters? Do they send regular email communication to employees? Does their HR office have a communication strategy? Almost all employers have some type of regular communication. If you’re already their agent, here’s a perfect opportunity to increase your value and help you maintain the business. If you haven’t gotten their business yet or don’t sell group health on a Level 1 basis, it’s a free service you can provide to get your foot in the door.
HEATHER Some of you may already run print advertisements in your local newspaper. If you do, the press release program is a great way to reinforce your place as the trusted insurance expert in your community. If you are not running ads, but would like to, we have several options available, including Wellmark Co-op and non-carrier specific ads – both of which I can help you with. Newspaper advertisements are very inexpensive and can get you some great results. Just imagine, your press release is published in the newspaper and right below is your advertisement – talk about reinforcing the message! Plus, you’re more likely to get your press release published in a newspaper if you’re already running ads.
Amy Our last strategy to discuss today is using press releases as website and social media content. If you have a website or blog, post the press releases to your newsroom or current events page. Then, link to the article everywhere you can – on your Facebook page, LinkedIn, have your agency employees share it on Facebook, etc. Not only are you providing valuable information, you’ll also drive traffic to your website. And new to our agents this year – GBL will soon provide website building services along with social media consultation and content. So even if you don’t have these marketing tactics yet, if you’re interested, let us know. We’ll have more information about these services later this year.
HEATHER As I mentioned earlier, there is only one agent per newspaper. You can visit the My Marketing section of the Agent Portal for an up-to-date list of available newspapers in Iowa. Just keep in mind, even if the first paper you wanted is taken, that doesn’t mean they all are. Look in your county for more newspapers. Small town newspapers are great – they need copy (so your article will probably get published) and usually those smaller papers get read by everyone in the community. If you’re ready to sign up or want to discuss the program further, call me at 251-1597 or you can email me also. It’s a great opportunity, it’s a free service, and I’ll do the work for you!
AmyThank you for attending our webinar today – hopefully you come away with some new ideas for using press releases and if you’ve never used our service before, are excited about the possibility of trying them out. If you have questions about anything we covered today, contact either one of us!
5 Ways Press Releases can Generate Leads
5 Ways Press Releases Can Generate Leads GBL Marketing Department Amy Zeigler & Heather Haley
So, Do Press Releases Work?• “I had a total of six calls and have written two policies so far!”• GBL currently sends press releases to 120 newspapers on behalf of 50 agents.
How to Use Press Releases (Beyond Newspapers!)1. Other Community Publications2. Agency Newsletters3. Leverage with Group Clients4. Pair with Advertising5. Web & Social Media Content
Other Community Publications• Associations • Hospitals• Chambers • Schools• Banks/Credit Unions • Senior Clubs• Churches • Libraries All we need is a contact person and we can send a press release on your behalf.
Agency Newsletters: A DIY Option • Email Marketing Blasts to Clients • Paper Newsletters – Use GBL’s email content and articles
Leverage With Group Clients• Do your groups have regular employee communication? – Newsletters – Email – HR Communications All we need is a contact person and wecan send a press release on your behalf.
Pair with Advertising• Reinforce your role as the insurance expert and play nice with the newspaper. – Wellmark Co-op – Non-carrier specific ads
Ready to Sign Up?• My Marketing section on Agent Portal – Press Release Service – List of available newspapers• Or Call! Heather Haley (515) 251-1597
Our Next Webinar: 5 Ways Insurance Agencies Are Using Social Media Thursday, March 15 at 9 a.m. Questions? Amy Zeigler Heather Haley (515) 251-1580 (515) firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com