How to turn a press release into a viral video

You’ve got blocks of text extolling the virtues of your next-generation gizmo. Apply the principle of ‘Don’t tell me; show me,’ and do so with ingenuity and flair.

Whether a press release gets printed by all the media outlets you courted or it completely tanks, there’s always a sense that there’s nothing else you can do with it. Its purpose has been used up, and aside from plopping it up on your website’s “news” page, there’s no reason to keep it around.

There’s actually quite a bit more you can do with a press release. Some companies use old releases as ideas for social media posts. Others use them to create a series of blog posts to give readers a more complete view of their products.

One avenue that too often goes unexplored is the viral video route. It’s possible to take a press release, regardless of its prior level of success, and make a great video that catches fire on the Web. Let’s look how you can do it:

Find the angle

Don’t worry about having to take the same approach in your video as you did with the original release. Find the best direction for your video.

For example, let’s say your press release is about a product upgrade. The new iteration—the Super Key Remote 6000—is replacing the beloved but outdated Super Key Remote 5000. Your job is to convince everyone that the familiar product just gets more amazing as it’s updated.

The press release—designed to generate traditional media coverage—had to be straightforward, but your video can focus on key aspects. See which points you can expand upon-for instance, if your release said the 6000 is much faster, play that up in the video.


This video is your chance to show your company’s personality. Press releases use neutral language; the video, though, can show your fans how you truly feel.

Do you really think the 6000 is that much cooler than the 5000? Don’t just tell them—show them. A potentially viral video doesn’t just talk at viewers; it shows them something unique. It can be funny, weird, intense, and even scary—it just cannot be boring.

What about your press release is visually oriented? To really show how fast the 6000 is, you can set up a series of locks the new model can be programmed to unlock in no time flat. You could even stage it as a “reality show” type contest with real people or actors pulling off the stunt.

No matter what you choose to try, this gives you the chance to show what your company is really about. Better yet, if the video does go viral, you can produce the next one in a similar manner to keep the ball rolling.

A version of this article first appeared on PR Fuel.

Topics: PR

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