Our calendars have flipped to 2020. Time to look at the two PR, marketing and media industry trends we plan to utilize that will impact how we will help clients effectively meet goals, gain exposure and set priorities.
News Release Distribution Trends
When a company has an announcement worthy of shouting to the world through a press release, precisely how to distribute is very important.
Traditional news release distribution services are evolving as the constantly shifting media landscape is disrupted by a lack of journalists, newsrooms getting smaller, eroding trust in media and audience attention spans that seem to be shrinking annually. Traditional services have offered a range of distribution lists tailored to your needs (U.S. national, industry-specific like technology and health care), but are you getting a solid return on investment, and do the audiences that want — or need — to see the news actually see it?
That’s where the newest trend comes in: the amplification of a news release with targeted advertising.
Consider iCrowdNewswire as an example. The service not only offers geographic and demographic targeting — allowing users to choose age groups, interests and industries — it also pays for Facebook Ads and Google Ads to accompany the release. This can provide a more reasonable and targeted approach to traditional distribution.
Issuing a release via one of the most popular wire services used to be vital to sharing your news, but (except for disclosure requirements) distributing your news via the wire may no longer be a necessity. We’re well-versed in evolving news release distribution trends and understand how to leverage these advanced services to further amplify your release.
Sponsored Content: New Opportunities to Tell Your Story
There are fewer journalists in newsrooms across the country today than any time since the early-1970s. Less news is being reported in fewer pages. Consequently, publications are hungry for content to help bolster the publication’s offering while also requiring minimal staff. Enter contributed and sponsored content.
Contributed content — where a company provides a thought leadership-style article, video or infographic of value (not an advertisement) — is one way media outlets fill their pages.
But what used to be at no cost, media organizations are now requiring sponsorship for content. Sponsored content is branded journalism a company pays for that lives on a media publication’s site or within its pages. Usually drafted by someone on your staff or your PR team to match the tone and voice of your content portfolio, the best sponsored content provides relevant value by educating or entertaining the audience.
There are several benefits to sponsored content: First, companies have the ability to stay on message while providing valuable content. Second, it is targeted to a specific audience. Third, it’s guaranteed. If you want coverage in Forbes, the New York Times or — on a local level — BizWest, utilizing Forbes BrandVoice, paid posts on the New York Times’ website or new sponsored content offerings from BizWest makes such coverage attainable. These are all mainstream and credible news organizations that are on board with the concept of providing space for sponsored articles in publications with preexisting audiences of significant size or audience.
Late to the party, marketing and PR traditionalists may miss the boat if they turn up their noses at sponsored content. On the other hand, those viewing the trend as glass-half-full will gladly embrace the opportunity to amplify messaging and branding using sponsored content as a means of reaching target audiences with a direct hit in a newsworthy fashion.
The key to effectively taking advantage of contributed content is to produce it so well that readers consume it in the same vein they do all other content. This means prioritizing the creation of AP style articles, good infographics and quality videos.
It remains to be seen how enhanced news release distribution and an increased amount of sponsored content will impact the future of PR, but at MAPRagency, we’re paying attention to the industry’s progression, and we’re agile enough to adapt to its constant changes. If you have any questions about how these trends will affect your organization or if you’d like a free consultation, give us a shout!