Outbound and Inbound News Release Tactics


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Click through for a few facts about the differences between outbound and inbound release tactics and objectives, tips on how to effectively integrate your efforts, thoughts on how social media fits in, and information on what we’re hearing from journalists and bloggers regarding their release preferences and social media usage.

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Outbound and Inbound News Release Tactics

  1. 1. Outbound & Inbound News Release Tactics Can “syndication” and “pick-up” be a two-way street, putting you on the road to better exposure?
  2. 2. What’s the difference between Outbound & Inbound tactics? If you’re trying to share news with the main-stream media, bloggers and consumers, there are a few ways to reach them: INBOUND: they find you INBOUND  SYNDICATION: You can maximize the on-line presence of your story through search engine optimization and web-portal syndication and hope they find you on-line. OUTBOUND  PICK-UP: You can share your news with targeted journalists in an effort to get traditional and/or on-line exposure through coverage in print, broadcast, and on-line outlets. OUTBOUND: you find them YOUR STORY
  3. 3. Inbound tactics deliver syndication With the growth of the web, maximizing the presence of your release on-line has become more important than ever. “Inbound” news release tactics can help you get your news “syndicated,” i.e. picked up by web portals and search engines to spread across the web. This means people—journalists, bloggers and consumers—who are researching on-line are more likely to find your news.
  4. 4. How syndication looks RELEASED PUBLISHED This news release was picked-up and republished in full on the web to perhaps be found by searchers as this…
  5. 5. Outbound tactics deliver pick-up Due to staff cuts and the growth of on-line news consumption, journalists are increasingly reliant on news releases. “Outbound” efforts are an attempt to get journalists to write about your brand by sending them your news release or story idea directly, hopefully resulting in traditional and on-line “pick-up” in print, broadcast and on the web.
  6. 6. How pick-up looks This news release was received by a journalist, who then wrote this story, which highlights the company who sent the release… RELEASED PUBLISHED
  7. 7. But why choose between the two? There is a third way. Consider integrating your inbound and outbound efforts and maximizing your coverage! Click through for advice on how to do just that (and, a few thoughts on how social media fits in as well)… OUTBOUND INBOUND INTEGRATED EFFORTS
  8. 8. First, let’s talk about how to maximize your inbound efforts There are a few things you need to know about how portal sites, such as Yahoo Finance and Google News, syndicate content. They select and republish releases based on: 1. relationships with the distribution company 2. keywords in the release 3. hand-picked based on topic or level of portal’s interest Due to their relationships with portals, traditional wire distribution companies, such as Business Wire or Marketwire, deliver better syndication than new and growing Social Media Release groups (for now). But, whether you distribute your release nationally or locally, the syndication is the same so a small market traditional wire distribution is a great way to syndicate effectively! Avoid unexpected road blocks with inbound release tactics.
  9. 9. Here are our 5 tips for maximizing your inbound efforts… 1. Use a small traditional “wire” distribution: In one recent study, traditional wire releases syndicated 20% more than Social Media Releases.* And keep in mind that a small market wire release will deliver the same syndication as a national release —that’s a great way to save some money since small distributions are much less expensive! 2. Search Engine Optimize your release by using the targeted keywords high in the story, especially in the headline, sub-head and first few paragraphs. Research which keywords will be most effective before you write your release. Also, use links (anchor text) in the beginning of release including links to your own site (although it is best not to repeat the same link). Remember, the “wires” are easy and inexpensive ways to add some SEO so select that option in your small market distribution. *Source: Hubspot. For more information visit the slideshare at http://www. slideshare . net/HubSpot/new-research-on-news-release-best-practices
  10. 10. 5 inbound tips continued… 3. Use actual URLs for the most important things, because some portals don’t pick up anchor text, either because they’re legacy systems or because they don’t want to drive traffic away from their own site. If you have a multi-media/digital version of the release, add a URL to direct readers to where they can easily find additional info, images, video, etc. Ex. For multi-media version of this release go here ( www.yoururl.com ). 4. Keep it short and well-worded . For maximum syndication, headlines should be 80 characters maximum and the release between 300 and 500 words. Also, avoid meaningless words like “ground breaking” that don’t say anything significant about your story. 5. Use formatting sparingly . Some portals don’t support formatting such as bullets or underlined or bolded text so avoid too much formatting if you’re shooting for maximum syndication.
  11. 11. Now, let’s discuss how to maximize your outbound efforts, Due to staff cuts and the growth of the web, journalists have less time to do more work. So the key to success with your outbound efforts is to give them what they want, how they want it, making it easier for them to cover your story. But what do the want? We’ve asked them! First, let’s look at how journalists themselves say they want to receive releases… Speed your way to success with outbound release tactics.
  12. 12. Journalists want to receive news releases via email In a recent survey of over 200 journalists, 89% of respondents claimed they preferred to receive releases via email. Very few actually receive release put across the “wires” or distributed through social media channels and many no longer have fax machines while an increasing number of journalists are working from home, far removed from their media outlet’s physical address.
  13. 13. What journalists & bloggers say regarding news release distribution preferences… PWR has also asked journalists and bloggers how they want to get releases and here’s what we’ve heard: “ Always email. Don’t call or fax. Keep it simple. Provide photo ops, visual elements when pitching stories. Have a clear subject line in the email .” —anonymous journalist “ The best way to ensure that your story is covered is to send the release electronically. Sending a fax or mailed release puts the story outside of the computer desktop and outside of mind and harder to reuse your language as it would have to be transcribed.” —anonymous journalist “ We live in an on-line world.  We live in a digital world.  I don’t think there’s room for anything other than an electronic press release .” —Tom Foremski of Silicon Valley Watcher  
  14. 14. What journalists and bloggers say about getting releases via email from people they don’t know But what about getting releases from people they don’t know? How do they feel about that? We wondered too, so we asked them and they said… “ If I didn’t get releases from people I didn’t know, I wouldn’t make new contacts and learn about new things.” —Alison Blackman Dunham of AdviceSisters.net “ We don’t specifically mind being inundated.  What we do mind is getting a press release maybe 12 hours after it’s been announced somewhere else.” . —John Biggs, New York Times and Crunchgear Of course, no one wants to waste their time with releases that aren’t relevant to their publications so make sure your lists are targeted and you know what your recipients write about! But what do journalists want to receive with releases?
  15. 15. Journalists want images with releases Okay, so journalists (and some bloggers) want to get relevant releases via email, but what do they want in them? Yep, you guessed it, we asked that too and we learned that the most important asset to receive in releases are images. Make sure you have easily downloadable web and print quality images but NO ATTACHMENTS (seriously, it’s the pet peeve we hear the most).
  16. 16. Journalists also want verbiage and background info In addition to images, journalists told us they want easy-to-grab verbiage and relevant backgrounders, bios and other info (they don’t much care for logos however).
  17. 17. The job of the journalist has changed With massive staff cuts and the huge growth of the web, most journalists are now contributing to on-line publications in addition to their traditional duties, responsibilities assumed in the past few years... So what does that mean for news release tactics?
  18. 18. Make sure to include digital content in your releases The digital shift means digital content is more important than ever. In fact, in over 5 years of conducting this survey, the one statistic that has seen the most dramatic growth is the desire for broadcast elements in releases (this year 35% said it was important/very important versus only 20% last year). Last year, it was only 20%
  19. 19. Content that is easy to grab and republish on blogs and on-line publication is becoming more popular When you include digital content in releases, make sure it is easy to grab and republish—embed codes make it very easy for recipients to grab your info and re-use it in an interesting way. Remember, the drive to publish often has increased dramatically so make it easy for them to share your info.
  20. 20. What journalists and bloggers say about social media You’ve heard a lot about social media, but how are journalists and bloggers really using it? In our survey, we found that only 26% of journalists said they currently use social media. Conversely, 93% use search, 78% use digital news releases, 41% use blogs, 21% use podcasts or videocasts, and 16% RSS feeds. We also asked journalists and some bloggers how they’re using social media and, on this topic, the answers varied dramatically, but were generally heart-felt. Here’s a sample of what we heard… “… time consuming and anxiety provoking.” —Alison Dunham Blackman of advicesisters.net “ Although I belong to several social networking communities, I never use them for work-related research. Many use/follow Twitter feeds, but I don’t really bother with those. ” —Anonymous journalist “… like to spotlight companies that are effectively using the Internet to reach out to consumers so stories with that angle are great.” —Erin Erickson of FoodProcessing.com
  21. 21. What journalists say about new media We have heard a similarly diverse group of opinions from journalist regarding how new media in general has changed their jobs… “ We have, for some time, been providing extra content on our Web site that complements what we are able to include in the magazine. We are also gearing up our official blog, which will allow us greater flexibility in the immediacy of the topics we can cover.” —Anonymous journalist “ Many of my stories are published on-line, so I often write first for the web edition, then later for the print version. As a result, I have rolling deadlines. I’ve also been tasked to take photos and videos while reporting a story…” —Anonymous journalist “ We’re now highly encouraged to get audio and video elements to local story packages. I had to do a weekly video about one of my columns, but that got killed. Electronic releases save time and paper.” —Anonymous journalist
  22. 22. Here are our 5 tips for maximizing your outbound efforts … These tips will give your outbound efforts the green light! <ul><li>Send releases as rich and browser friendly emails . Journalists want releases to show up in their inboxes and be relevant, targeted, easy-to-use and loaded with info and digital content. Keep your subject and from lines honest and to the point. And, DO NOT send attachments— journalists want small files that won’t clog up their inbox. </li></ul><ul><li>Give journalists and bloggers what they want . Make sure your releases include images, backgrounders, bios and more; they have less time to do more work and make lots of split-second decisions. And, they need digital content, so be creative—embed codes on video and audio and easy-to-download images are handy for busy reporters with web responsibilities. </li></ul>
  23. 23. 5 outbound tips continued… <ul><li>Make it social . Share your digital release, using the URL link and social media elements. If your digital release is done right, there is no need for a separate Social Media Release—a good digital release has all the SMR capabilities and more (it goes through email and across the web). </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s say that again… make it social . You should know your audience before attempting to connect with them via social media sites, but adding a graphic footprint inviting them to befriend you on the social sites your brand uses can yield great results. Also consider adding bookmarks, sphere links, forward to friend links, and PDA friendly links—they can be handy for recipients. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Be true to your brand’s branding . Since your releases now get past journalists and bloggers and are seen by consumers, make sure they’re well branded with your branding (not the branding of your sender or developer). </li></ul>
  24. 24. So what’s better: Inbound/syndication or Outbound/pick-up? (False dichotomy anyone?) There’s more than one way to be successful with news releases. But when you have big news to share, combining inbound and outbound efforts will put you on the road to exceptional coverage!
  25. 25. How to integrate your inbound and outbound efforts, maximizing your syndication and pick-up Highly branded design looks good in all browsers Sphere link gives related content on the web Social media bookmarks allow journalists to archive and share Gallery of unlimited downloadable high resolutions images Unlimited text using keywords and meta tags for Search Engine Optimization Journalists can download or grab the embed code for audio and video Contact information with e-mail links Release, with less formatting, put on small wire distribution with URL link to digital version Unlimited links, including fact sheets, bios, websites and more Social media footprints invite recipients to join you
  26. 26. Sign Up with PWR for more info… Contact: Malayna Evans Williams Phone: 312.924.4224 Subscribe Email Blog Website Facebook Twitter