Does your company still have a newsroom where your press releases grow old and die? There’s a better way. Turn it into a news blog.
If you are a publicly-traded company, you have an obligation to issue material news that could impact your share price in a way that is broadly disseminated to the public. Even if you’re not publicly traded, you may want to keep the option of distributing your most important news over a traditional news wire.
A Breakfast Routine
A financial reporter told me recently that every weekday morning, he sits down with his son and daughter at the breakfast table and, before they go to school, he deletes press releases. Dozens of them.
Anyone who has ever been in that position—either as a reporter, an editor or who works in media relations and sees what’s on the news wires—knows that the vast majority don’t rise to the level of importance that a news release demands.
Here are some reasons a news blog make sense.
- Reduce costs. Traditional news dissemination services are expensive. Anyone who has ever put out a press release or paid the invoices understands the per word charges that come after the contractual limit. Then, there are costs for wider distribution, graphics or embedded video, and advanced analytics. With a news blog, the post can be as long or short as you want. Do you want to add a video or photos? Go right ahead.
- Reporters troll online. When you post to a news blog, it’s simple to disseminate a link to the content over social media. Most reporters love Twitter. Nothing is faster. Advanced search enables you to find the ones you want and follow them. Place them in a list. Engage with them and work toward a phone call or a meeting. It’s another way to grow your relationship.
- Improve your search engine ranking. Fresh, relevant, quality content is one of the keys to a solid SEO strategy, and your company’s news is just that! Most blog content management systems offer plug-ins to help you with SEO, meta descriptions, keywords, tags, and more. Even if your news blog is the second blog on your website, you will increase your chances of getting found on Google.
- Allow comments. By encouraging two-way communication, you are providing another opportunity to build relationships with partners, vendors, customers, and the public. Press releases don’t do that. A news blog does.
- Social sharing features. At the top and bottom of each news blog post, you should have icons that allow visitors to share on social media and subscribe. Already allow for RSS subscription? What about email? You want to make it as easy as possible for others to share and subscribe.
- Better analytics. It’s hard to beat the analytics available for a blog. Google Analytics are free, as are most services at the freemium level. The costs can rise quickly, however, for larger programs. But you can achieve a remarkable level of understanding for not a lot of money. That allows you to repeat what works and change what doesn’t.
As the news industry continues to shrink, reporters have less time to develop sources than they did in the past. Issuing your announcements over a news blog doesn’t mean that you completely give up the old ways of media relations. For your most important news, post a summary to your blog with a link to the press release. You’ll still need to call up key reporters and bloggers and pitch your news over the phone.
I’m SCOTT PETERSON, co-founder of Relay Station Social Media LLC.
We help companies, nonprofit associations, and government communicate with more people, build reputations, and exceed objectives through digital strategy, social media and Internet marketing, online video campaigns, website development, analytics, and training.
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