Tips for Effective Communications
High Performance Counsel is a marketing technology and newswire company providing press release distribution and regulatory disclosure services to publicly listed and private companies, institutions, organizations and NGOs globally. We partner with media groups, news web distribution networks, traditional, digital and social media channels to provide wide-ranging dissemination of news. We also use media databases for large-scale email delivery of news reaching thousands of editors and journalists directly.
Press releases are tools used in conjunction with a strategy for maximum efficiency – research proves that newswire distribution, web and social media distribution and email are the most widely used methods by media globally. A comprehensive strategy will help increase the ROI in press release distribution.
- Enhance your press release with multimedia: Research proves press releases are more effective when they include photos/videos/infographics.
- Attach a video: Nothing enhances your message more than a video.
- Maximize reach with your audiences: Share your release on your social media channels. Releases distributed via High Performance Counsel contain share buttons – use them and push your release out to your Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn followers.
- Use the reports provided by High Performance Counsel: Email the distribution reports to your mailing lists, media contacts, investors, shareholders and stakeholders – let everyone you do business with understand you are active and effectively communicating with the marketplace.
- Engage your followers in your communications efforts: When you send your High Performance Counsel reports to your followers, politely ask if they will forward to their followers. The concept is simple: you send to 25 followers; they each forward to 25 followers and so on.
- Value of your existing audience: Nothing is more valuable than messaging your investors, followers, stakeholders and friends. Think of including your staff – build enthusiasm and pride and recruit your teams in sharing out your growth story. Frequent communications build excitement and support.
- Communicate frequently and be consistent: Press releases should not be like prayers that are used only when in need. Press releases are not magic bullets used randomly, frequent and consistent communications build long-term awareness and valuable audiences. Consider how you feel about a company that issues one release per year – maybe there is not much going on?
- Frequent communications: Convey a message of success and growth, keeping in mind customers, investors, vendors and staff. Think of your universe as “shareholders” and frequent communications as your duty and obligation. Nothing exudes confidence and build credibility like constant and consistent messaging.
- Create a press release archive: Use a PR or IR newsroom or post to a press release section on your website and archive your releases. Think of press releases as your ongoing opportunity to document and highlight developments, deals, products, hires – press releases provide the opportunity to craft the story you want to tell anyone evaluating your company. When planning development build in communications right from the start: what are the logical developments investors would like to see?
- Own your story: Don’t let your growth story be told by others, be produced from guesswork or miss the opportunity to be told in your own words. Own your story and tell it in the order you see best and in your own words. A well planned press release archive becomes a story made up of chapters written by you over time. Your story over time, one release at a time, becomes a view into you and your management team – how you developed your business.
- Your press release archive becomes a valuable research asset: Make it easy for media to write about you by including quality logos, images, video and audio links in your media newsroom. Include as much company information as possible and make sure that the most efficient contact details for senior executives are available. DO NOT PROVIDE TWITTER HANDLES ONLY. Media rely heavily on email so make sure personal emails are posted.
- Build your archive with an exit strategy in mind: Don’t miss the opportunity to build a story that creates tremendous value when it comes time to raise money or implement an exit strategy. As an example think that after two years of successfully building your business you have 30 press releases in an archive that document in detail your investment, efforts and successes you achieved. A business plan, private placement memorandum or whatever documents you use to seek investment can never replace an archive diligently built over the years, produced when even minor details that will be forgotten are fresh in your mind..
- Never wait: A communications strategy needs to be first and not an afterthought. Start issuing your messages ahead of events, when the events launch, during the events and after the events. Media will choose the proper time to cover your story and the easier you make it for them the better your chances of being covered. Don’t wait until the last minute to issue a release – and never wait until the last minute to issue your first release, it speaks of desperation.
- Seek audience synergies: Does your release include third parties, related stories or value to wider audiences? Think about multiple releases with different angles. As an example, if your release is about the first 100% electric yacht, consider releases on yachting, environmental impact, fuel efficiency and technology. The more solid angles the greater the opportunity for media coverage. Remember, media have beats they cover, so the clearer your message for their beat, the more they will be interested in your story.
- Contacts: Make sure your contact information is the right contact. Contacts should be the person specialized in media relations that can help media arrange an interview with the CEO, obtain additional materials or other information.
- Understand media’s role: Today’s media is much more highly dependent on advertising and to that effect, think about how your story will appeal to wide audiences. Extremely technical releases narrow audiences down and will more likely than not only appeal to smaller segments of the media.
- Understand High Performance Counsel: Your newswire is a technology to reach media and also, to reach consumers and stakeholders. Our news is published on open websites, social media channels and news services. Keep the consumer reach in mind when writing your releases – media may research a subject, be more knowledgeable about the subjects that interest them and generally be more analytical than consumers that may be turned off by highly technical releases. When it comes to consumer audiences, headlines are critical – you have seconds to create interest.
- Provide “action” links: Determine which of your channels are the most effective in converting customers and include “Follow” and “Subscribe” buttons to those pages at the end of your press release.
- Communications discipline: What does communications discipline say about you and your management team? What does lack of communications discipline say? Let me put it another way, what do you think of the executive with a 10 word LinkedIn profile last updated in 2005?
Build and use your company social media channels frequently and wisely
- Images get a lot more attention
- Include a “Tweet this” option
- One third of YouTube searches are news related.
- Improve your brands search results.
- Pin your news.
- Use the LinkedIn long-form publishing service.
- Consider paying for impressions.