Today’s news distribution landscape has made media outreach more challenging than ever. With thousands of reporters, influencers, brands, and an ever-growing proliferation of platforms, audiences are constantly inundated with messages. Email, news feeds, voicemail, snail mail—there are millions of communications delivered every day that are instantly deleted or disregarded without a second thought. PR professionals have adapted to this new reality in various ways.
Earn your audience’s attention with content they care about
This deluge of messaging brings about a hard reality for PR pros: the press release, although still very relevant, can no longer be the core medium for news distribution—at least not in its traditional form. We’re relying more on the amplification power of social media, optimizing our messages for short form communications, and adapting them to the specific audience on each platform. We’ve adopted video platforms and multimedia tools to diversify our communications tactics. We’re harnessing audience data in new ways to expand our reach and improve our relevance.
Most importantly, we've realized that while press releases can certainly deliver everything reporters need to cover their story, they don't always need to be long, intimidating print assets. Social media has emphasized just how much impact a succinct message can have, while accessible video and multimedia resources make adding compelling elements to releases easier than ever.
It’s understandable, then, that with thousands of competing messages vying for their attentions, readers might be too time-crunched to digest a 2,000-word release unless they’re particularly interested in the subject.
The communications professionals who are thriving in this digital-first world have learned to win that battle for attention. People are spending hours a day engaging with content. We know audiences want to engage. They want an experience, and, most importantly, they want to choose which messages they pick up with and which ones they leave behind. They want control.
Increase audience engagement with interactive experiences
With apps in every pocket, microsites promoting new ideas, and interactive experiences on every homepage, PR professionals have a prime opportunity to incorporate consumer-oriented tools into the modern press release.
Interactive press releases combine traditional messaging techniques with gamification tactics to incite and reward viewers for their attention. By combining succinct, compelling messages with multimedia elements, PR practitioners can create experience-first releases that invite users to explore their story first-hand, on their own terms.
Interactive press releases at Business Wire have shown 50% higher engagement than through traditional means – audiences are not only reading press releases, they are actively engaging with the story being told. Audiences respond to the narrative of interactive—they’re initially intrigued with strong messaging and feel rewarded when they click through to explore the next element of the story. Rather than feeling forced to engage with a piece of content, users take ownership of the experience and can navigate through each element as they see fit.
The Rule of 7—the old adage that an audience needs to hear a message seven times before they’ll consider taking action—certainly applies here. Interactive press releases hack that experience by breaking up a single deliverable into multiple messaging touchpoints:
A user lands on the site—exposure 1—clicks to the next element—exposure 2—engages with a video—exposure 3—follows to a testimonial—exposure 4—clicks on an intriguing button—exposure 5—explores a slide series—exposure 6—and dives into a stats page—exposure 7.
This element of repetition keeps users engaged while differentiating the experience enough that visual, text, and even auditory learners can all connect to the story being told. It also works to keep audiences on-site and engaged longer. More time on the page means more exposure; more exposure translates into audiences that are more likely to act.
Make data-driven decisions to enhance the audience’s journey
The ability for interactive press releases to measure engagement data gives PR pros an additional resource to measure PR and optimize their distributions. Clicks can be tracked, and pages can be adapted in real-time based on the results. This generates customer-lead data, the most valuable data available today. Every action is selected by the user. If a video isn’t of interest, it can be swapped out. If a photo is worth a thousand words, imagine the story we can weave with a series of media assets. Unlike traditional press release distribution options, the interactive press release empowers readers to create their own journeys and can be modified based on user interactions to create the ideal experience for each audience member.
By adopting new strategies for how we deliver our messages, communication professionals are learning to thrive in a new digital-first world. The interactive press release ushers in a new era of distribution—an era of curiosity and experience—that gives audiences the control they crave while delivering key messages in new and exciting ways.
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