If Your Press Release Got Little Pick-Up, You’ve Got Options...
Use Syndicated Content to Complement – and Dramatically Expand the Reach of – Your Press Release
With the downsizing of newsrooms, reporters are asked to cover more with less resources, PR and marketing professionals are challenged to ensure their press releases get noticed…and covered. Too often, press releases end up on the “cutting room floor” of newsrooms. Tried “pitching” lately? Reporters send calls straight to voicemail. Emails and Tweets go unanswered. While press releases certainly still have their value for news announcements, earned media resulting from a press release is increasingly difficult to achieve. How can content marketing with a syndicated story (mat release) help fill that media coverage gap? Does it make sense to put out a mat release together with a press release? How and why?
Let’s start with some basics so we know what we are talking about when we say “press release” and “mat release.”
- Press releases, also known as news releases, are official announcements or updates from an organization. They are written for distribution to newsroom editors and journalists, and generally sent out over a newswire. Newsrooms can then use (or not) press releases to decide what news to cover. (Because newswires send out so many releases each day, PR professionals often call and “pitch” a reporter after a news release crosses the wire, to interest them in the story and to make sure they at least saw the release among the many that crossed that day.)
- Mat releases, also known as syndicated content or sponsored content, are feature news stories written for a consumer audience and for consumer news outlets. While press releases are generally written in “corporate speak”, mat releases are developed to look, feel and read like a feature news story – so they blend in with news sites they are syndicated to. With a mat release, you are not dependent on a reporter/editor deciding to “cover” your press release and develop an article (which may or may not include the information in your release). Rather, your article is pre-written (and pre-approved by you), consumer-friendly and posted to the hundreds – and often thousands – of news media sites within the mat release provider’s syndicate. In this way, you bypass newsroom editors and get syndicated feature news stories directly onto newspaper/news outlet sites – guaranteed.
Maximize Visibility: Use a Mat Release and Press Release Together
Both press releases and mat releases can boost your visibility. These are not competing assets, and they can be used in a highly complimentary way.
A press release of often needed (and in some cases, required) for announcing and disclosing information publicly. But normal people don’t read press releases, no matter how well written the release may be. Press releases are for a different target audience: the press. When PR/marketing professionals develop a news release, they are providing key information, background and quotes to enable newsrooms to develop their own stories. Most won’t. (Hence the media coverage gap.) Some will. (But if they do, they are likely to take only bits and pieces of your press release, or maybe condense it to a one paragraph update, or leave an important quote out of the story.)
So why not take the consumer news story that you WANTED the press release to tell, write it for consumers (good news: your mat release vendor can help convert your press release into a feature news story for you) and syndicate it out directly to thousands of consumer news outlets. The press release shares information the way a company or organization wants to tell it; the feature news story mat release (that happens to include your brand & messaging) can share the information in a way consumers want to read it – and deliver it to them on the local news sites they visit and trust. will share information. As you can pick the date and time you want your mat release to go out, you can either time it to the issuance of your press release, or run it several days or weeks later to give your announcement additional “legs.”
Don’t limit yourself to one tool. Maximize your exposure and reach by using both a press release and a mat release to reach, inform, educate and engage consumers. Ensure you have plenty of placements to share with your customers…your clients…your employees… your investors and more.