How to Make More Impact with Your News

Sep 25, 2019

You have a piece of fantastic news. Congratulations! But what are you going to do with it now so you can get maximum exposure of it?

We hear many times, “I have a great story, let’s write a press release!” Could be a new solution offering, the latest customer success story, or perhaps even a new hire who has a lot of experience and is of high caliber. This always leads to bigger questions, such as: “How does it fit into your broader marketing efforts?” or “What does publicizing this do for you?”

Anything that is truly newsworthy isn’t a one-off “mention.” It’s what you do with it afterward that creates the bigger buzz and gets the most attraction for your company or organization.

Use it to create broader campaigns

This is especially important for a new solution or product launch. You’ve taken the time to go through the tedious development and testing phases, which is great for the worth of the product. But, do you really just want to issue a press release, or do you want to use the news as a springboard for broader exposure? Consider what you’re going to do after the press release has been issued.

Today, social media and advertising can be excellent ways to capture leads and generate sales. Tie whatever news you’re creating to the appropriate social channels and use them to keep promoting the product offering. And consider how the news translates to the customer journey. If you want to attract customers to your website, ask yourself how you will use the news you create to drive traffic there.

Remember where it falls into integrated marketing efforts

Just because you have a new piece of news doesn’t mean it shouldn’t tie into your broader marketing efforts. Many industry publications provide their annual editorial calendars. These can be incredibly important as you develop your news cycle and combine it with your paid media efforts.

For example, let’s say a trade publication has dedicated its March issue to a topic that matches perfectly with the research being performed by one of your thought leaders. You may want to consider skipping the news you’d planned for him or her in January and wait until the publication’s March issue. This way, not only are you releasing the news publicly, you’re more likely to get an interview by the publication at the same time, increasing the exposure for your thought leader even more.

Keep the next campaign in mind

If you want to use your news as a way to reach your target audiences, consider having a cadence of news releases, and have them coincide with various campaigns. This is a great way to promote your products and/or solutions throughout the year. For example, you can look at your integrated calendar, and have press releases occurring every month. But don’t let the releases stop without further promotions. Have an entire calendar of items happening – and remember that it doesn’t matter if they’re overlapping at various times.

This is also where your automated marketing efforts can produce excellent results. Have a press release prepared, plan to issue it, then follow it up with an infographic that brings people to some form of gated content. Keep doing this throughout the year, and you could possibly have a never-ending list of leads constantly coming to you.

Remember what’s newsworthy and what’s noteworthy

Just because someone comes to you with something they feel is newsworthy doesn’t necessarily mean it is. What’s harder is trying to convince him or her that what they have in mind may not capture their audience as compellingly as they intend. Finding the right outlet may be the best way to convince them that there could be a better – and less time consuming – way.

For example, a company could spend thousands of dollars recruiting a new senior vice president. They find the ideal candidate, with the right education and background, and they want to point that out to their competitors. So they propose a news release. However, industry publications and business journals throughout the country have new-hire and people-on-the-move sections. Perhaps it would be a lot easier writing up something simple, having it placed in one of these outlets, and then promoting on the company’s website and through social media. You may find that you get the same, if not better, results with a lot less effort and expense.

When planning your overall news cycle, keep these things in mind: newsworthiness, breadth, integration and the big-picture campaigns. Don’t let your stories fall flat when there are so many ways to promote them and easily available to you and your organization.

Chris Currington

Christopher Currington has more than 20 years of experience in public relations, marketing content development and change management communications. Most recently, Chris worked as the director of PR at Lumeris, a start-up and sister company to Essence Healthcare, that specializes in population health management and value-based care. He managed Lumeris' PR and communications through three years of being named Best in KLAS for Value-Based Care Managed Services. He also led the communications and PR efforts behind Essence Healthcare's phenomenal 4.5 to 5 Star rating, for eight years in a row, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Prior to working at Lumeris, Chris was a senior marketing manager for Express Scripts Specialty Pharmacy where he helped to build physician awareness and referrals for mail order prescriptions. Chris has also worked for Towers Perrin (now Willis Towers Watson) in the Change Management, Communications and Measurement line of business. In this position, he worked across offices and with Fortune 100 clients transitioning their health and welfare benefits (to consumer-driven health plans) and retirement programs (to defined contribution plans) and helped thousands of employees make benefit elections through various channels and media. Chris has bachelor's degrees in mass communication, psychology and sociology from UM-St. Louis, an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and a graduate certificate in marketing.