Today’s PR pros juggle a kaleidoscope of responsibilities ranging from developing and implementing publicity strategies, overseeing media relations, pitching stories, writing and editing press collateral, to managing events and analyzing campaign metrics. Time pressure and short deadlines are also part of the mix, making streamlined workflows critical to productivity and performance.
Distributing press releases, often a sizable part of the job, can be remarkably inefficient, given the number of stakeholders and review cycles involved. If you find you’re regularly bogged down by the endless toing and froing characterizing today’s press release process, you’ve come to the right place.
The steps below will not only streamline your press release workflow, they’ll transform this critical part of the PR pro’s job.
Why Do We Still Use Press Releases?
Even today, the press release is an essential part of most organizations’ communications and marketing content strategies. It’s the go-to approach to delivering news about an organization, its products, people, and plans. In recent years, other channels have been added to the PR arsenal, such as social media and web announcements, but none has replaced the press release itself.
Most companies send out at least a handful throughout a year. Most public companies will send out more, including quarterly earnings announcements and other regularly scheduled market-related data.
The Traditional Press Release Process Is Dated
The press release process itself remains highly inefficient, involving the same steps, individuals, and time constraints that gave PR pros headaches more than 50 years ago.
Essentially the workflow includes creating an initial draft, then chasing down C-suite-ers for their review, changes (usually inevitable), approval, and a quote or two. This is followed by making revisions and starting the process over again. Embedding media such as an image can require resizing it or reformatting the release一or both.
It may come as no surprise, then, that in a 2019 survey commissioned by content agency Speak Media and reported by PR news source PRovoke Media, nine out of 10 in-house communications team leaders experience regular challenges with content creation.
And let’s not forget distribution一including another set of review cycles with a newswire editor and an additional round with the C-suite if the editor’s changes are substantive一before the press release is finally released over the wire.
There’s room for improvement and the PR industry agrees. According to USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s 2019 Global Communications Report “PR:Tech: The Future of Technology in Communications,” 59% of PR pros surveyed feel technology will drive considerable change to the industry.
And News Direct has taken a big step in this direction. The platform makes streamlining the press release process easy and efficient.
Collaborate on One Secure Platform
News Direct provides a self-directed, cloud-based platform that includes the Content Studio, where automation and a clear template makes composing your content quick and easy. Secure sharing with stakeholders is available and revisions are no problem with a full suite of editing tools and version tracking. You can even check if your draft conforms to AP Stylebook usage, right from the Content Studio platform.
Write Recurring Content Once
Nearly all press releases include boilerplate information一a short “About” section on the company, media contact information, and social media handles, among other elements. Even if you have a template with this information in your word processing program, it must be added and checked for every press release draft.
With News Direct's Content Studio, you can add your boilerplate, any other disclosures, and your contact info once and this is retained in your Company Detail section. When you’re ready to draft your next release, your recurring content is pre-populated, formatted, and ready to go.
Keep Content Secure Without Trying
Security is a key consideration during the press release process, especially when sensitive information is at stake. News Direct’s Content Studio uses industry-leading security protocols, including cloud isolation technology and two-factor authentication, so you control who reviews and comments on your content.
Automate Tabular Formatting with SimpliFi™
Here’s something investor relations (IR) pros will love: News Direct’s proprietary SimpliFi™ functionality enables text and tabular data to be copied and pasted directly into the platform with complete format retention, and all within a few short minutes. No additional formatting or endless review cycles are required.
At News Direct, selecting your distribution is customizable to provide both breadth and depth for your targeted effort. When you’re ready to distribute your content, select from News Direct’s wide range of distribution offerings, including major national news outlets, media agencies, trade press, customizable geographic and niche media options. Then press submit to schedule your release.
Easily Release Standalone Media
According to publisher and online learning platform Smart Insights, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and the brain processes visuals 60,000x faster than text. It makes sense, then, that today’s media consumption preferences lean heavily toward visual content.
And here’s something else: 86% of journalists find standalone media appealing一with infographics and videos the most desired multimedia content by journalists and bloggers.
PRs can meet this demand from journalists and broader audiences with News Direct’s proprietary Digital Asset Direct™ functionality, enabling multimedia distribution on a standalone basis. If that infographic or video tells the story effectively without accompanying text, why embed it in a press release? With News Direct, you don’t have to.
Predictable, Transparent Pricing
Most legacy newswires price their services based on the antiquated variables such as word count or geographic distribution. However, News Direct’s pricing model reflects how most media consumption and distribution is done today一digitally. News Direct uses an asset-based, flat-rate model that’s predictable and fully transparent.
Streamline Your Press Release Process With News Direct
With News Direct, your press release process is easy, efficient, and purposely built for today’s modern media outreach.