For more than a hundred years, PR professionals have used the press release as a way to interest journalists who might report on an organization’s news, including its products, positions and people.
Today, the news release still serves that traditional purpose but its scope has broadened as consumers search online for news and information. Thus, the search engine optimized news release has become an important vehicle that communicators use to reach a target audience directly, bypassing the traditional journalistic gatekeepers.
You have great content that your target customer needs and have developed a news release to share it. How can you think creatively about your news release to improve your chances of reaching your intended audience?
PR Newswire researchers conducted a study for four weeks that began at the end of February 2011. They compared 10,000 text only press releases with 200 multimedia press releases. This research proved what they had long suspected — that press releases with multimedia elements get more views. Multimedia includes elements such as photos, video, audio, logos, graphics, social media sharing and tags.
In fact, when photos, video and other multimedia elements were added to the release, the number of views increased by 77 percent.
The researchers attribute the better result to these reasons:
- Multimedia elements are distributed separately, which means that each element can attract its own audience. Search engines are the primary driver of traffic to text only releases. Other web sites are the primary drivers of traffic to multimedia content.
- Because multimedia news release have more shareable elements, they are shared more frequently on social networks. The researchers found that multimedia releases were shared 3.53 times more often than text releases.
- A multimedia release holds the audience’s interest longer, effectively extending its “shelf-life.” The text release generates visibility for 9.4 days. The multimedia release generates visibility an average of 20 days.
Are you more likely to share a text only news release or one that includes multimedia elements?