Approximately 2,000 press releases are distributed daily. So how can you prevent yours from getting lost in the mix?
This infographic offers some suggestions, including the following:
- Limit your headline to 65 to 85 characters
- Use the keywords your target audience uses
- Move up the most important information – the main message and keywords
- Link to one or two priority websites, such as the company, product, or campaign site
- Be clear and concise, as always
- Nothing but NETFLIX – Whether it’s adding to your queue or watching instantly, Netflix has figured out the formula for success. With more than 2 million new users since the beginning of 2013, Netflix has risen to the top, while bringing the trend of “binge viewing” into the homes of the American public. The online video provider has branched out by creating original content with the launch of its first series “House of Cards.” Netflix also signed a coveted deal with the producers at “Arrested Development” to bring 15 original episodes of the cult comedy back to the small screen to pave the way for a potential movie. Netflix is hot right now, and its lack of commercial content is what makes it stand out from the other big guns of binge viewing. This is a tough nut for brands to crack, but a growing platform with real PR legs if leveraged strategically.
- Courting Martha Stewart? – America’s favorite homemaker sat down with Matt Lauer last week where she confessed to wanting to try online dating, specifically Match.com. This was obviously music to the ears of the folks at Match.com, who coordinated a follow-up special on TODAY featuring Martha and Matt hunting for her online love. Even if she doesn’t find her soul mate, Match.com certainly took advantage of a golden opportunity.
- Get Your Own Gala Gown – With the Met Gala taking place tonight, celebrities have enlisted the help of their glam teams and famous fashion friends to get prepped. Aside from the Oscars, the Met Gala is arguably the biggest fashion night of the year, and a time to make a real statement. Upscale E-commerce giant and event co-sponsor Moda Operandi has partnered with several of the designers to offer the gowns as soon as they hit the carpet in a live streaming flash sale. Get your credit cards ready gals, these gowns will cost you a pretty penny.
- Seacrest and Paltrow Team Up – PEOPLE’s Most Beautiful and E!’s most profitable have signed on to create a 10 episode web based series on AOL’s On Network. The series entitled “Second Chances” will feature Gwyn and her fitness guru pal Tracy Anderson as they share stories of women who have faced and overcome a variety of obstacles in their lives. The series will roll out over the next couple of months, as Ryan Seacrest Productions continues to focus on digital content.
- Mr. President Goes to Hollywood – President Obama took a break from his day to day duties to join Hollywood’s elite for the 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner. Conan O’Brien took over as host, while delivering some memorable zingers. Not to be outdone, Mr. President had no shortage of one-liners himself; even getting a few laughs while sporting his wife’s buzzed about bangs. Often deemed the “nerd prom,” the annual White House Correspondents Dinner is a collision of two different worlds, but always makes for some good laughs.
Image courtesy of Netflix
- Sweet Melissa – She’s done it again! Melissa McCarthy is Hollywood’s newest darling and the ratings prove it. She brought in big numbers during her second stint of hosting Saturday Night Live, following a highly applauded first hosting gig in 2012. With one box office hit under her belt already this year (Identity Thief), and with the release of The Heat costarring Sandra Bullock this summer, Melissa shows no signs of slowing down. She is charming, likable and has mastered physical comedy with comparisons to such legends as Chris Farley and Jim Carrey. Women are gaining strength in the world of comedy, and Melissa is just another example to prove it.
- The Even GREATER Gatsby – The remake of The Great Gatsby, brought to life by visionary director Baz Luhrmann has been the talk of the town for years. The film is finally about to make its debut, with a strategic premiere during the Cannes Film Festival. Aside from the actual film, the many released trailers feature exclusive song teasers by some of today’s biggest names including Jay-Z, Lana Del Ray and Florence and the Machine. An interesting vehicle to release new music, and most likely foreshadowing a bigger trend in the industry.
- It’s a Mad Mad World – In its sixth season, Mad Men continues to attract a hefty number of viewers. As the show centers on the inner-workings of an ad agency in the 50’s, it only makes sense for brands to cash in. Over the years big name brands have strategically partnered with the show including BMW, Banana Republic and Unilever. A changing opportunity comes as the show evolves with the times, and the cast is now entering a new era of fashion, food and brand names.
- Festival Frenzy – With SXSW behind us and Coachella this week, it’s officially music festival season! That means big name acts, festival fashion, and soaking up the sponsorship opportunities. It has always been a natural synergy for brands that leverage summer and being outdoors to sponsor music festivals, but more and more brands are seeing this as an opportunity to target a unique demographic. Returning brands signed on to leverage the festival this year include Lacoste, the Ace Hotel, Guess and Levi, with newcomers including Mulberry and Belvedere.
- Who Holds The Power – This week The Hollywood Reporter released its list of most powerful forces in media, and who tops the list is not surprising. Kelly Ripa and newly appointed host Michael Strahan cover the issue, with honorees including the TODAY crew, Good Morning America, Bill O’ Reilly, Wendy Williams, Jimmy Fallon, Jeff Zucker, Arianna Huffington and more. As the media landscape continues to evolve, the movers and shakers on this list are surely ready to evolve with it.
Image courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter
- 90’s Fever – Can you smell the teen spirit? The last few months have marked a 90’s resurgence in the wonderful world of pop culture! First the announcement of a Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World. Danielle Fishel (a.k.a Topanga) even turned up the heat by covering the April issue of Maxim. More recently, Jonathan Taylor Thomas joined his Home Improvement dad, Tim Allen on Last Man Standing and the boys of Hanson just released a new single. Fashionistas are even trying to bring back overalls and scrunchies! Brands should capitalize on this trend quickly, as the nostalgia builds.
- Late Night Lullaby – Déjà vu anyone? NBC has officially announced that in 2014 Jay Leno will be stepping down as the host of The Tonight Show and will be replaced by Late Night host Jimmy Fallon. Seems like a familiar tale as we remember The Tonight Show fiasco that went down with Conan and Leno. The big question is who will replace Jimmy on Late Night? Seeing the hosting success of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, it might be worth the ask NBC!
- Dory’s Story – Years after Finding Nemo dove into theaters, Dory is finally getting her time in the sun! Pixar announced that they will be releasing the sequel to Finding Nemo entitled Finding Dory. Marina Maher Communications client COVERGIRL’s own Ellen Degeneres will be reprising her role as Dory, when the flick hits the big screen in November 2015. Turns out there are only TWO fish in the sea!
- Raise your VOICE – Has Idol finally met its match? NBC’s The Voice premiered this week with two big name judges, Shakira and Usher, who join returning judges Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Idol (in its 12th season) is the undisputed champion in the singing competition show, but with the new roster of judging talent on The Voice, they could finally get voted off. Both programs have been saturated with strategic brand placements for years, including Starbucks with The Voice and Coca-Cola with Idol.
- Clarissa Loses it All – Melissa Joan Hart is the latest celebrity to jump on the baby-weight-loss wagon by signing a contract with Nutrisystem. After welcoming her third child, she has spoken publicly about the pressures of losing the baby weight. Melissa has already lost 20 pounds with the program, and even rocked a hip-hugging blue dress at the premiere of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
Image courtesy of Andrew Eccles/NBC
The next round of changes to Facebook’s News Feed are expected to be unveiled at a press event tomorrow. When it debuted in 2006, the feature was met with mixed response. A lot has changed at the Network in the time since, and now, perhaps motivated by monetization, the News Feed is primed for what could be a significant overhaul.
When pressed for details, our contacts at Facebook remained typically tight-lipped. That said, we – along with a slew of reporters – have jumped into the speculative swirl: will we see a new set of feeds that organize content by category? Makes sense now that Graph Search is viable. Will photos play a larger role in weighing our Posts and ads? Facebook’s continued integration of Instagram might suggest so. And what about music? Apart from their integration of Spotify, the Network has allegedly been working on a product to rival iTunes.
Regardless of what they reveal, we can be certain of one thing: Facebook’s ongoing evolution is driven by the feedback they receive from the individuals who make up their Community, their end-users. Simplifying their experience – while getting them to spend more time on the Network – is (still) their primary goal.
As members of that Community (and as marketers who manage brands on the platform), we’re excited to see what the Facebook’s engineers have up their sleeves. To that end, we’ll be tracking this story very closely and will have more to share as the story unfolds.
Two types of people will tune into the big game on Sunday night: diehard football fans and those interested in the ads. The latter will interact in a room full of friends who mute the game and crank the volume during the commercials. But unless these ad fans have been under a rock for the past two weeks, they won’t be seeing these commercials for the first time. They’ve already watched them online and may have even had a hand in how they end.
This year, the cost for a 30-second Super Bowl spot is at an all-time high – up to $4 million for 30 seconds. So smart marketers are leveraging their $4 million investment a little further by optimizing when and how consumers see their messages and how they get involved. And why not? Last year, the game brought in a total of 111 million viewers and, according to YouTube, there were an additional 300 million views of those same ads online. Scott Campbell, general manager for integrated marketing communications at Colgate-Palmolive told the New York Times today: “We don’t see any down side” to forgoing the “aha!” moment during the game.” Colgate bought a Super Bowl commercial for its Mennen Speed Stick deodorant and uploaded the spot to the brand’s YouTube channel yesterday.
To ensure that there is still some expectation during the game, marketers are using social media to engage consumers like never before by allowing them to choose how the ad ends. Audi has produced multiple endings to a prom scene where consumers can “choose their own adventure.” And Budweiser is engaging fans via Twitter to name its newest Clydesdale.
While this approach may not have been intentional, stirring up a little controversy is an approach that’s netted a lot of attention for Volkswagen. Its Super Bowl spot, which features an actor playing a white Minnesotan who speaks in a Jamaican accent and encourages drivers to “get happy,” has been a hot topic in national media all week. As of this afternoon, the spot has been viewed 3.5 million times on YouTube.
This makes Vokeswagen the most talked about brand, even before the game starts.
Image courtesy of Budweiser
Image courtesy of Architectural Digest
With all the focus on social media, mobile marketing and the shiny new tools that come with them, we sometimes overlook the importance of the most essential means to connect with consumers and deliver brand news – brand websites. If you frequently post brand news on your social channels, consider doing the same on your website, which remains a primary resource for consumers seeking information about products. In a recent survey, almost half of online shoppers said they trust brand website content as a primary information source.
This hit home for me recently when I was frustrated by the inability to buy some china featured in the February issue of Architectural Digest, which referred readers to Bloomingdales.com. I just assumed I’d easily find this one-of-a-kind collection, Scalamandré by Lenox, featuring Scalamandré’s iconic Zebra print, on Bloomies’ website. Nope.
So I checked the Scalamandré and Lenox websites. Nothing. From a marketing standpoint, what a missed opportunity. Lenox and Scalamandré obviously appreciate the news value of this collection. Last October, they announced the story to the trade, which covered it with great fanfare. So when the collection was available to consumers in January, why didn’t Lenox and Scalamandré splash the news across their websites?
Prior to its arrival in-store, Bloomingdales could have engaged consumers with stories about the rich New York history of Scalamandré designs told by New York’s top interior designers. The zebra pattern, for example, was designed to adorn the walls of the now-defunct Gino’s restaurant, a long-popular see-and-be-seen destination across from Bloomingdales, once frequented by the Rat Pack, Ed Sullivan and Gay Talese. And a stripe was missing from the rumps of half the zebras—a mistake made by the original designer – which the superstitious Mr. Gino, fearing bad luck, chose not to correct.
This kind of story can drive real consumer engagement. While Scalamandré featured the story on its Facebook page, it’s unfortunate that neither Bloomingdales nor Lenox leveraged it on their website or their social channels, as it would have delighted both consumers and media and given them a reason to come back for more.