Why do agencies and corporate affairs managers use press releases so much? The field of public relations still seems to be built on a single foundational tool—the press release.
The press release originated in 1906, after a train wreck in New Jersey took the lives of more than 50 people. At the time of the accident, the train was owned by the Pennsylvania railroad.
In response to the tragic accident, the rail company’s publicity expert, Ivy Lee, issued a press release detailing what happened. The release garnered immense coverage. This statement issued by Lee and published by almost all the newspapers was the origin of the press release.
Despite its potency, there should be a lot more tools in your Public Relations belt beside the good old press releases. Here are 10 great press release alternatives you should consider for your business.
Blogs can help both businesses and individuals establish their voice on a particular issue, product, or service.
More and more businesses are using blog posts as a key component of their marketing campaigns.
With a blog, you can define your company’s brand voice, generate new leads, and engage new and returning customers. Moreover, blogs can also establish your brand as an authority in a certain space.
Blogs are also effective for personal branding.
- Long-form or feature articles
True to their name, long-form articles climb into well over 1,000 words and therefore require more time and effort than their short-form counterparts.
Done well, feature articles can also establish your expertise on a specific subject. And though they demand more work during the creation process, the payoff in reader loyalty is well worth it.
You’ll often find this type of content in the form of an “ultimate guide” or instructional post.
With well-researched long-form articles, your website can become the one-stop shop for anyone seeking information on a particular topic.
As a visual form of content, infographics are easily digestible to the average user. Though often used as supplements to written content like blogs or articles, infographics can also be shared on their own, and sometimes go viral.
Infographics allow you to pack a ton of information into one image in a way that is visually interesting and easily digestible.
- Case Studies
In simple terms, a case study is an in-depth examination of an issue. They generally follow a linear, explanatory structure:
- A summary of the overall study.
- A description of the problem solved, or hypothesis tested.
- A breakdown of the solution.
- A recap of the results
The idea behind case studies is for potential customers to see how you or someone effectively solved a pain point similar to theirs—and convince them to come to you for the same results. If well written and convincing, case studies can end up making for highly shareable content.
- White Papers
White papers are information-dense content that can offer solutions and data on a particular subject. The focus here is all on the details.
They are exceptional when you want to build thought leadership and respect within the industry, and can make great lead magnets.
Because they are so packed with information, white papers do take longer to write. White papers can worth adding to your tool kit in addition to press releases or your other conventional tools.
Already popular, video is quickly becoming an essential part of many businesses’ marketing campaigns. Every social medium supports it, from the obvious choice of YouTube to Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
What makes video content so effective? Simply put, it grabs attention and evokes emotion. In fact, almost 75% of people are more likely to make a purchase if they can watch a video explaining a product or service beforehand.
Got a message from your CEO? Or launching a new product? You don’t have to rely on just a press release statement. Instead, shoot a video, post it on YouTube and share it in your e-newsletter, on Twitter and Facebook.
In the last two years, many comedians, Nollywood stars and other influencers have resorted to short video posts.
Ebooks, short for “electronic books,” are another type of long-form content, but available on computers, mobile devices, ebook readers, and as PDFs.
They are useful for providing information and insight on a topic while keeping the sales tactics to a minimum.
Why incorporate ebooks into your content strategy? They can be easily monetized, generate subscribers to an email list, and attract new leads. Moreover, they help build readership and customer loyalty.
If you’re considering publishing an ebook, make sure the reader is getting something out of it; people can tell if your 30-page ebook is really just a 30-page sales pitch.
- Template and checklist downloads
Template and Checklist downloads make exceptional lead magnets and can sometimes take the place of a press release.
They are actionable; they are a great resource that users will utilize repeatedly, and they don’t take a lot of time or money to make. Offer them in exchange for an email subscription sign-up, promote them at the end of your blogs and videos, and you will see positive results.
Many businesses and agencies in Nigeria have not yet tapped into the power of podcasts as a great medium of reaching the target audience and also a good alternative to the press release.
It is easy to produce and you can also quickly create the channel. Podcasts are an effective way to reach someone on the go, commuting, or while they shower.
Like other forms of content, consistency and relevance are the key success factors. Remember it’s not a sales pitch, it’s offering valuable content to the audience.
- Free product sampling
You want to get the attention of the press, bloggers and influencers? Who doesn’t! You like receiving packages in the mail? Who doesn’t!
Try sending out free samples of merchandise to your prospects, and tie this into your announcement. It’s best to aim for something that people will naturally keep or use for a while.
- How To
This is the classic educational tactic where you literally teach a reader how to solve a problem. This method involves giving step-by-step, actionable advice your readers follow as they solve a challenge by themselves.
This is also a great alternative to a press release.
That’s why they are such great features to have on your website.
A checklist is simple and easy to put together and can generate great leads.