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Want to score a touchdown with your clients? Consider using New Media Releases to reinforce your special event messages: Super Bowl campaigns, contest, press junkets, fundraising events and more. Providing video teasers, behind-the-scenes photos, and other creative interactive elements can really drive media engagement and increase pick-up.

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Countdown: 10 great ideas from 2011

Welcome to 2012! Once again, we’ve put together our very own PWR countdown, highlighting some of our favorite ideas from 2011. What better way to celebrate the New Year! We’re fortunate to work with so many innovative PR and marketing professionals. It gives us a unique view of what is, and isn’t, working with our many clients, ranging from non-profits to CPG firms to PR and marketing shops.

Here are a few ideas worthy of celebration from the past year…

TEN: Use animation to highlight key assets

imageSometimes a bit of animation is a great way to highlight key assets. We’ve used this strategy with graphics, infographics and even just text call-outs. It’s a great way to really show off key messaging in a dynamic way. When poorly executed, animation can detract from your message. But when done right, it really underscores your point. So don’t be afraid to think about how a bit of motion added to your next project can enhance your brand and message.

Check out this project we created for Budweiser using animation to pop out key aspects of their new can design and to scroll through a product history with style.

NINE: Slideshows are a great way to add dynamic content on a budget

imageSlideshows are a great way to tell your story online without breaking the bank. For example, virtual tours can be created with good static images and informative captions, communicating your message quickly, easily and inexpensively.

Check out this virtual tour we did for food distributor Nicholas & Co. when we redesigned their website this year. It’s a great way to show off their unique capabilities and commitment to excellence.

EIGHT: Use embed codes to make assets more transferable

imageSharing is key in today’s digital environment. One easy way to make sure your great images, video and even Powerpoint presentations can be shared across the web is to include embed codes so bloggers and other online publishers can grab your assets and repost to their own sites. And don’t forget to include embed codes with images for journalists—making their life easier really pays off!

Here’s a news release we did for Reese's this year, making it easy for journalists to grab images and video and repost to their sites in moments.

SEVEN: Use microsites to create an easily accessible
(and well organized) place for your target audience to engage with your brand

When your initiative or event has lots of moving parts it can be a challenge to get the right information to the right people. Microsites are a great way to house a lot of information so your target audience can easily find, and use, your information.

We created this microsite for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ Annual Meeting. It’s loaded with tips on how to navigate the event, information on presentations and topics, relevant news releases and more.

imageSIX: Create excitement with a truly engaging contest

A well-executed contest can really create brand excitement and grow your relationship with a target audience. Making sure the rules are transparent, the product is highlighted, and participation is easy for the end-user is a must for any digital contest.

Here is a screenshot of the microsite we created for Zatarain's. (The actual microsite was taken down after the contest expired.) This recipe contest was designed to engage mommy bloggers. It created real buzz, highlighted the product, and was just generally yummy! A real winner all around.

FIVE: Use polls, surveys and web forms to increase audience participation and brand engagement

Get people more actively engaged with your brand by adding a poll, survey, or just an option to select something useful to the audience. Putting some control in the hands of your target audience is a great way to boost enthusiasm and get valuable feedback.

This holiday card, from marketing agency Norton Norris, was a creative way to let recipients choose their own gifts. It is a great example of engaging an audience by offering real value and choice.

FOUR: Make it easy for anyone to join, or simply eavesdrop on, the conversation with a Twitter wiki

imageIncorporating Twitter can be done in many ways, but we've found wiki's that enable viewers to follow an ID or hashtag to be a fun and effective way to increase followers or simply let viewers who aren't tweeters themselves see what others are saying about your brand.

This is an example of a Twitter wiki embedded in a New Media Release, tracking what is being tweeted by Follet online.

THREE: Cross-pollinate your online efforts for maximum effectiveness

Inviting your newsletter recipients to join you on Facebook or getting your blog readers to join your subscription list are all great ways to grow brand participation. But you can take this a step further by integrating assets well, making your multimedia, social media, mobile and any other digital assets point to each other in coherent ways.

For example, check out this New Media Release PWR sent out this year for
Gain's PR Firm, DeVries. They've done a great job integrating video, a
contest, celebrities and Facebook.

TWO: Video brings a message to life

imageWhen you're pulling together assets for a digital effort, don't forget video. It doesn't have to be high-end or flashy—we've seen YouTube quality video perform wonders. It is a very engaging way to share info online and can be highly informative, entertaining, and compelling. And, it's transferable when you want it to be—a great way to spread your assets across the web.

These e-marketing pieces we send on behalf of Ross Medical Education Center incorporate video, driving engagement higher and creating a more compelling message.

ONE: When dealing with geography, maps are your friend.

imageWe do a lot of projects that involve both national and local angles. Using animated maps can be a good way to focus on the national story but enable viewers to zoom in on local angles as well.

Check out this map we created for Bud Light, making it easy for viewers to simultaneously view the national breadth of a campaign and zoom in on local markets for more relevant information.

Want to learn more about what journalists want from news releases and how they use new media? Stay tuned for next month’s 2012 PWR Journalist Survey!