I recently started working with a start-up client. These questions came up: Do we really need news releases? Isn’t sharing news on our blog more efficient and effective for a small business?
These are good questions, and businesses of all sizes should consider them.
The answer was more obvious than I thought for this particular client. A blog was clearly the way to go, and my client agreed. Here’s why I made the suggestion, and why you should consider the approach:
1. Blog posts are better for storytelling.
Does anyone like to read news releases? The point of a news release is to give the media the information it needs to cover your news, but isn’t it also about the story you’re trying to tell? Doesn’t a blog post make it easier to tell that story?
2. Blog posts make it easier to incorporate visuals.
It is much easier to embed photos and videos in a blog post than it is to embed them in a hard copy or Web-based news release. For anyone who’s operated in WordPress, you know it takes just a few simple clicks. Voila — you’ve embedded your visual!
It can be a little harder with Web-based systems, and you may need to go through your Web team, which is pointless since technology like WordPress is available. For smaller clients, WordPress is a much easier content management system to work with.
3. Blog posts allow you to send shorter pitches.
This is one of the biggest payoffs. With a traditional news release, you have to pitch the reporter and send the entire news release – or an attachment, which is worse.
If you use a blog to share your news, your pitch could be a short paragraph with a link to the post for more details and visuals. It’s a win-win: Journalists get shorter pitches that are easier to sift through, and you get to link journalists directly to your blog or newsroom where they can get all sorts of information about your company, products or services.
4. Blog posts are easier to share online.
Sure, online newsrooms can make sharing simple, but judging from those I’ve seen, they don’t. With a blog, it’s easy to add social-sharing buttons at the top of the post.
Make posts easy to share. Remember, these posts will serve as more than news releases; they’re stories that employees, customers and other stakeholders can spread.
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5. Blog posts make measurement easier.
This might be the biggest benefit of all. By using a blog as the home for your news, you can track every unique visitor, page view and eyeball via Google Analytics (or other blog monitoring software). In a time when companies want more metrics and data on their PR efforts, isn’t this worth it alone?
Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications in Minneapolis. He blogs at Communications Conversations, where a version of this article originally appeared.