Thirteen years ago, the PWR team opened its doors with one goal in mind: help communications professionals improve their media relations efforts by elevating news releases, better aligning releases with the changing media landscape. Since that time, we’ve expanded our offerings to more general content design and development. So yeah, some of our subscribers know us as infographic designers, some as web developers, others as newsletter gurus, and some as the folks to turn to when you need a good whitepaper researched, written and designed. But although our offerings have grown, our commitment to news releases has stayed true.
Here are five reasons we still love New Media Releases (NMRs, in PWR language, although many subscribers prefer EPKs, SMRs, IPKs, MMRs … so many acronyms!).
As journalists have told us year after year, they want releases delivered directly to the inbox. It may surprise some of you to hear that 0% (yes, that’s zero with a Z!) prefer to get releases via “wire service.” (Although the wires are great SEO tools.) The media’s preference for email makes sense, because most of us are addicted to our inboxes—it’s the place we organize, archive, and prioritize our work. So delivering your release to targeted inboxes with a service that understands the medium, well, that was, and in many ways still is, our raison d'être.
With the growth of online news consumption, the value of content has gone through the roof. A plain old text release no longer moves the needle. Journalists, bloggers, and other stakeholders need content: videos, images, social media graphics, even stats and quotes that are visually rendered. With NMRs, you can include all the transferable content you want without driving up costs, giving the media easy access and making their jobs easier (which is really what the product is all about).
Branding matters ... even when it comes to news releases. With the increased import of converged media, it’s no longer acceptable to create marketing assets that shine while your media-facing assets are dull and dreary. Your news release can be beautiful. And it no longer makes sense to brand your sender’s organization, so select a vendor who will brand your featured organization, not themselves.
NMRs also offer senders more personalized metrics. Although inbox metrics aren’t perfect, they are highly useful. Knowing who opened your release, how many times, and what outlet they work for is a valuable tool when it comes to follow up. Conversely, knowing which targets you didn’t reach can come in pretty handy too.
We didn’t want to finalize this list without mentioning something many PR pros know, but some aren’t so sure about: journalists place a high value on releases. Reporters have more work to do, and fewer resources, so they rely on releases to do their job (and the top two places they turn to for story ideas are the web and their own inboxes!). As one journalist told us, news releases “are still the best way to find out what’s happening.”
With over a decade behind us, many things have changed. But the value of giving the media what they want, how they want it, so you can make their jobs easier and, thus, earn better and more coverage has only grown. Need help on your next release? Give us a shout—we’re so here for that.