Is It Time To Rethink Your PR Strategy?
Press Releases Should Now Be Split Into Two Components
+ Other Tips To Maximize Getting The Word Out
Over the years we have received many press releases in the hopes that we would pick them up and post them as stories on one of our LGBTQ+ websites. This started with GayWired.com back in the 1990s and continues to this day. The problem is that things have changed quite a lot over the past 25+ years, and yet we're still receiving press releases the same old way. Sometimes these press releases are also missing links or calls to action, which make it impossible for a reader to follow up for more information. Additionally, there are often no photos or other media for us to use in our story or blog post that we often create to highlight this press release.
Over the past few years, the key components of advertising, marketing, PR, and social media have come together to form a closer relationship. Digital media dominates this world and serves as the vessel for this union. Each discipline still exists as its own separate entity, but those lines have blurred and a successful outreach campaign in today's environment weaves together a more uniformed look, feel, and story across all four marketing pillars.
It's this new marketing environment, especially as it pertains to social media, that we are focusing on. Press releases should now be split into two components: the press release itself, and the press release posted on the PR company's website in the form of an article. This article must have links, photos, and videos embedded into this article so that it captures the attention of the reader. To further guarantee that LGBTQ+ media pick up the story, there should be additional links to high-resolution photos, as well direct links to videos that can easily be embedded on other sites.
In short, there is a bit of bifurcation happening here.. The traditional press release, sent to LGBTQ+ media in the form of e-mail, is still effective when your goal is to get that outlet to pick up your story and run with it, republishing it on their website or print publication (hopefully with some edits to make the story their own).
The problem is that many "new media" outlets may not have a strong, central blog or website where they can post your article. Perhaps there are influencers who would like to help you spread the word and share your article with their audience, but that's not feasible in text-only press release form. Having a version of this press release already set up as an article solves this dilemma and allows your press release to serve a newer type of LGBTQ+ media that is more focused on social media distribution rather than the traditional "article-on-a-website" business model.
Our tips and recommendations are as follows:
- Include links to photos someone can use if posting the story (don't make the editor "hunt" for images to use)
- Ensure images are also embedded in the story and that the website you're posting on is set to maximize your stories for social media posting,
- Re-write your press release to be more of an article or blog post, making it more personable and less "salesy"
- A variety of images should include at least one that is social-media optimized for platforms that are strongest at content distribution, at 1200 x 628 or 1920 x 1080 (in general, a 16:9 ratio)
- Link this article or blog post in your press release so that recipients that are focused more on the distribution side of the LGBTQ+ media model can quickly and easily get your story out there to their audience
- An added bonus is that you can link to articles by media companies who have picked up your press release directly in the article or blog post, thereby increasing the overall visibility of these articles and sometimes enhancing the Google search rankings
Who are these distribution-focused LGBTQ+ media? Our company is one of them, with our #ILoveGay network. In addition, there are a wide array of LGBTQ+ individuals (millions of them) with a penchant for sharing articles, blog posts, and news that are relevant to them. Some of these people may be influencers, and others are simply individuals who enjoy spreading the word on LGBTQ+ issues that are important to them. This level of "word of mouth" promotion is unparalleled in its ability to reach your LGBTQ+ customers.
For our strategy behind #ILoveGay and Twitter, take a look at: