Do Press Releases Work in Digital? | Target Internet

The importance of rich media in digital press releases

The most effective digital press releases tend not to be ready-written articles intended for direct republication. Like the case studies discussed previously, they include multiple media types.

Rich media can improve a press release on multiple levels. It can make the content more digestible for your media contacts; and for those who decide to run the story, it provides easy options to produce engaging multimedia coverage for readers.

Depending on the content/subject matter of your campaign and the media production resources at your disposal, your digital press release might include:

  • Header and sub-header
  • Press release copy (full version)
  • Press release copy (short version)
  • Image thumbnails with download links
  • Social Buttons
  • Links to further reading and supplementary media
  • Video/audio
  • Infographics

You don’t need to include all these elements in every press release – but you should consider all the options you can to decide on a suitable mix for whichever publications you would like to get covered by. For example, if most of the publications you are targeting have a heavy focus on video content, it would make sense to build your press release around a video.

Clear, compelling copy, carefully ordered to give precedence to the most important details, should always be at the heart of your press releases. Supplementing that copy with production quality rich media is also vital.

Tracking press release performance

One of the great advantages of digital marketing is the possibility of tracking and measuring almost every process, with a view to iteratively improving how it is done. This is certainly true of digital press releases.

The easiest way to track press release performance is to do your press release distribution via an email marketing platform that comes equipped with email analytics reporting, such as Campaign Monitor[10].

You can use email analytics reporting to find out metrics including:

  • Click-through rate (CTR) – the percentage of recipients who opened the email. This can provide indications of the quality of your contact list and the effectiveness of your email’s subject line.
  • Conversion rate – the percentage of recipients who followed a link (or completed a different conversion goal) in your email. Can be used as a measure of how engaging your press release is.
  • Which recipients opened and engaged with the email. You can use this information to decide which contacts you will target with a follow-up email.

If you prefer to direct media contacts to a web browser version of your press release (i.e. on your website), you can use unique, shortened URLs for each contact to enable you to track who has visited the page. Here’s a how-to-guide on URL tracking with Bitly[11]. Just be aware that the period the link is tracked has a 30-day limit if you have a free bit.ly account and you will need to be a paid subscriber to get a longer view on your bitl.y analytics.

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