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Five ways to use media releases to generate leads

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Media releases are not just for the media, says public relations writer Marian Macdonald of WriteRelease. "Tweak a well-written story into a direct mail piece, newsletter item and sales aid," she says. "You’ll stretch your marketing budget further and send a consistent message across multiple communication channels, creating a powerful integrated marketing campaign."

Price Guide (Inc GST): POA

Media release to direct mailer
WriteRelease clients often take their cue from the fashion industry by reprinting published media releases. For maximum impact, Macdonald recommends reproducing them almost exactly as they appeared in print.

"Add an 'as seen in…' banner to the front to provide context and include a response mechanism on the back. Team with a covering letter that includes an offer and you have a direct mail piece with real credibility."

Another alternative is to ask the publisher for extra copies and send the article with a personal note to contacts who would find it particularly relevant.

Sales aid
Customer case studies are particularly valuable sales aids because they demonstrate the business case for the purchase of your product. As with the direct mailer, the key is to preserve the news format as much as possible.

The competition for inbox supremacy is fierce and company enewsletters are often the losers because they’re simply not newsworthy enough, Macdonald says. Most media releases simply need to be shortened and adjusted to make the source clear before they can be slotted directly into a newsletter.

Blogs and social media
Social media, such as blogs and online forums are reshaping marketing and public relations, says Macdonald, and even industrial marketers can use them to connect with prospects.

"If you have a blog, rewrite opinion pieces in a snappier, more conversational tone and get them out. Even if you don't have a blog, you can often find a home for reworked media releases on other forums and in response to other people's blogs."

Search engine optimization (SEO)
It's also wise to add each media release to the company website under a prominent “news” tab as a matter of course, Macdonald says.

"Aside from the added exposure for your press release, keyword-rich articles will boost the Google ranking of your web site. In fact, many public relations writers are now engaged solely in providing web masters with just this type of content, so make the most of it!"

For more media release writing advice, visit www.writerelease.com.au.

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