customized content

By Laura Click

I recently read an article on Marketo’s blog about the need to modernize the traditional news release.

The article talks about whether traditional news releases are dead, and suggests marketers and PR pros should look at them through the lens of social media.

For instance, will the release headline stand out in the Facebook stream?

Can you distill the information down to a tweet that makes someone want to read more?

Personally, I think this post misses the point.

Instead of thinking about how to cater a news release to social media, we should focus on creating compelling customized content for each distribution channel.

News releases still hold a ton of value for communicating information to journalists and news outlets. However, the news release format will thud like a ton of bricks on your blog or social media channels. Likewise, writing the news release to cater to your social media audience might not give reporters the information they need to write a story.

That’s why it’s far more important to cater the content to each audience and channel.

Sharing Company News on Social Media

While you should still have the news release available in your online newsroom (complete with photos and videos), that content should be customized and shared differently on your social networks.

Let’s consider a fairly standard announcement a company might distribute through a news release – hiring a new executive – and how that information might be shared on each social media channel:

  • Blog: Instead of simply posting the news release on your blog, showcase a Q&A with the executive, including both business and personal questions. Or, you could have the new executive write the post to introduce herself to the community. Both options give readers the chance to get to know the new executive in a more personal way.
  • YouTube/Vine: Think about how you can integrate video into your content to make the announcement more interesting. For instance, you could offer a video introduction of the executive – either talking to the camera or in an interview format. This video could also be shared on the blog and through other social media channels.
  • Google+: What if you hosted a Google Hangout to allow customers, investors, reporters, and other interested parties to meet the new executive and ask questions? Consider this the modern day news conference or meet and greet!
  • Facebook/Instagram: Instead of showcasing the standard headshot, think like a photojournalist and show the executive doing something interesting. For instance, you could show him greeting employees, working in his new office, spending time with family, or enjoying his favorite hobby. Not only does this type of photo make the executive more human to your audience, it also makes for more compelling visual content.
  • Twitter: Certainly, you can share links to your blog post or news release. But, you could also take it one step further to allow your audience to get to know the new executive. What if you hosted a Twitter chat to allow people to ask the executive questions? Or, how about giving the executive the keys to the Twitter account for a day so she can share behind-the-scenes info about what it’s like to work in her new job?

Customized Content is Key

Whenever you create content about company news, think about the audience for each distribution channel. News releases work great for journalists, but sharing the information in another way may work better for your social media audience.

What do you think? How do you customize news release content for social media? Have you seen good examples of this?

Laura Click

Laura Click is founder and CEO of Blue Kite Marketing, a Nashville-based marketing firm that builds and implements marketing strategies for B2B and service-based businesses. You can connect with Laura on Twitter or by checking out her blog.

View all posts by Laura Click