10 creative alternate uses for media releases
We’ve spent the last couple posts talking about media releases. First, we reviewed tips for writing a news release. Then we pointed out the fact that the better written a news release is, the more likely that some (or all) of it will go into a story verbatim. Here’s the thing. While newspapers are continue to crumble around us and social media is forcing traditional media to change and keep up – or die – there’s still a place for these conventional news releases. BUT, there are also much more creative uses for news releases, which is our focus here today.
Here are a few ideas for ways to change up your releases and/or new ways to use them:
- Send your release straight to your fans/readers/mailing list, either as a standalone post or as an item in your regular newsletter. This will give them a new way to appreciate you, and let them feel like they’re receiving “insider” information.
- Use the Twitter! Take your standard release and chop it into various sound bites. Stream those out to your Twitter feed (with a link to the full release) over the course of a day or two.
- Distribute your news release as a Note on your Facebook page. Consider creating a special section on your Facebook page that serves as a catalogue/timeline of your news releases.
- Write your release and then summarize it in one paragraph. Post the paragraph to your blog or website, with a link and contact details for further info.
- Go the other direction and hang onto that original 4- to 5-page first draft of your release. Use this as a special report or promo piece about your book that you can send out when people request further information. Or save it as a free download for your membership site.
- Add interactive elements to the media release with links to videos, MP3s, podcasts, surveys, apps, games, cartoons, or slideshow presentations.
- Post your release on a news release distribution service. PRWeb.com is a fantastic service – the fees are generally worth every penny, but there are also free services that do a decent job as well.
- Include your most recent media release(s) in your media kit.
- Read up on other authors’ and publishing companies’ media releases for sources to interview for your blog.
- Stay on top of others’ releases (at sites like PRWeb, Free Press Release, Online PR News, and PR Newswire) so that you can learn about projects and events in your community (or elsewhere) with natural PR tie-ins for your book.
(1) One option is to write a concise, compelling release as if it was the story you’d want to read in the press. You should also include new media elements, such as integrated resource links, video, images, etc. (and lite social elements such as del.icio.us and Digg). This will enjoy greater success with journalists and readers in general and will most likely cost no more than what you already do today in terms of official wire distribution. Plus, it will carry valuable SEO benefits.
(2) Another option (or in addition to) releases is to create a dedicated blog-like platform for distributing information in a way that’s designed to reach journalists, bloggers, and customers. Blog platforms, by nature, are already socially-enabled, and feature integrated comments, RSS feeds, social bookmarking, trackbacks, tags, etc. It shouldn’t resemble a press release, nor a traditional blog, but it should provide what’s new in a conversational, informative and resourceful format – with disclosures of course.
The main point here is to get busy writing your releases! And then, use all the creativity you’ve got to distribute them.
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