In a fast-paced and fiercely competitive news cycle it can be difficult to grab a reporter’s attention. For companies that distribute investor relations press releases (earnings, company announcements), what can be done to increase exposure and draw attention to that content?
To find out, we sat down with Bloomberg, Press Association and Benzinga to discuss how they manage information in their newsrooms and decide which news to publish, and how their insights can help you create better IR press releases.
Keep reading to learn more.
Newsrooms Use Human Curation and Automation
Faced with a daily deluge of IR press releases, newsrooms have developed various ways of automating their selection, review, writing and publishing of the content they receive.
According to Brad Skillman, a senior editor at Bloomberg News who works with breaking news and data, the news teams use both journalists and machine learning to extract earnings and key information from the press releases they receive.
Brent Slava, Head of Newsdesk at Benzinga and Simon Neville, City Editor at Press Association confirmed they rely exclusively on humans. However, their automation processes keep evolving.
7 Tips for More Impactful Press Releases
Whether this automation process is done by AI or by humans, ensuring your press release is optimized for greatest impact will only become more important as newsrooms face increased pressures to filter through fake news with reduced resources.
Here are seven winning tips to optimize your press release for maximum impact according to these experts.
- Bullets for the win: Because everyone loves bullets!
● Using bullets in your press release helps the media quickly grasp information by breaking it down into clear, bite-sized snippets.
- Provide opportunities for trust: Enhance your credibility.
● Journalists who know they can efficiently pull content from a press release with ease and confidence will be much more inclined to cover your story.
● Keep your writing quick, clear, and digestible (see number one).
● Avoid hiding behind data to ensure accuracy in reporting.
- Context is king: Help the media understand the big picture.
● Help journalists understand the meaning behind the numbers by explaining their impact.
● If journalists have a better understanding of your news, they can share it with a larger audience for their future investment decisions.
“Don’t assume we understand it all. Try to put some context around your news so we can all understand it a bit more,” explained Simon Neville.
- Multimedia for added context: Yes, even for IR press releases!
● Including multimedia assets such as images, infographics and videos in IR press releases (when appropriate) are highly valued and helpful for editorial teams since they help provide much needed context to the story being shared.
Media Snippets let you embed image carousels with infographics, audio and video elements―including live streaming events―directly into your press release. Your multimedia materials can also be easily distributed to AP Photo Express, the CP Photo Network, Newscom Archive, Yahoo! Photo and YouTube.
● The extra color and information added with multimedia content helps provide invaluable context to the data provided in IR press releases and helps illustrate how your company’s news fits into the larger news cycle.
- Does the press release pass the “pub test?”: Is the information compelling?
● If a person was hearing the first paragraph of your IR press release in a busy pub, would they want to hear more?
- Building relationships: How can you help the media?
● When reaching out directly to media, offer them news angles and storylines that may spark a special interest in your content and help it stand out against the noise.
“Help journalists with their sense of urgency by creating headlines,” suggests Brent Slava.
- What to avoid in your press releases:
● Purely using fancy infographics or creative earnings tables.
● Although multimedia content is very valuable, ensure the raw data is available in the written body of the press release.
● Dressing up the truth or hiding information.
● Don’t hide behind numbers, facts and non-relevant information.
● Don’t “reinvent” an IR press release.
Brad Skillman drives down why following these tips and rules are so imperative:
“The idea that you are trying to hide information can backfire. With automation, everyone and all the tools (including hedge funds) are looking for the information in the exact same place. If you change that up, we [media] could go out with bad information. Its important to know how the information is being disseminated. This can cause bad headlines and stock to go down because of misinterpretations of the information."
While the success of any press release depends on a number of factors such as competing news and world events, following these tips will help your news release get more visibility and engagement from both media and their readers.
Why Press Release SEO Is Important
On top of the seven great tips shared by these experts, it’s also important to focus on search engine optimization (SEO) within your IR press release.
The headlines that most consumers read are accessed from queries on search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, which in turn pull them from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. This means that IR press releases must be designed with SEO in mind.
If you’d like to learn more about IR press release SEO, check out our two-part blog series here.
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