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5 creative alternatives to the press release

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Did you know that the press release is almost 100 years old? The first one was sent way back in 1906 by the man known as ‘the father of modern public relations‘, Ivy Lee.

Of course, a lot has changed since Mr Lee’s release about a tragic railroad accident on the Pennsylvania Railroad. Communication methods have evolved to become both digital and instantly shareable.

While there’s still a time and a place for the press release, in this blog we’re taking a look at some of the more modern methods of creating coverage for your brand.

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising

In our modern age, almost anything you can think of can become a promotional item. Long gone are the days when billboards and posters were the only option for promoting messages.

These days, everything from buses and taxis to benches and dustbins can display digital or print advertisements, so, if you’re considering OOH advertising, remember to think outside the box, as anything goes.

Paid campaigns

Whereas out-of-home advertising lets you choose geographical sites for your key messaging, it’s harder to guarantee that you will reach your target audience. That’s where paid campaigns come into their own.

Whether in print as a paid-for advertorial or on a social channel, paid campaigns give you the freedom to target a specific group. In print, the key is to choose a publication whose readership matches your target demographic.

With social paid campaigns, you can carefully select the specific audience you want to target based on their age, gender, job role, location, and a whole lot more.

Create a video

Whereas press releases are traditionally words on paper, there are now a number of ways of presenting your messaging in a visual format. Infographics, for example, are an effective way of presenting a lot of data and they’re easily sharable.

Another effective visual medium is to create a video. Whether it’s to showcase a new product or service or to present your CEO as a thought leader, embedding a video on your website, social channels, and emails gives time-poor journalists and customers a quick and easy way to discover more about your brand.

What with being able to create company YouTube channels and embed videos into social channels it’s never been easier to self-publish your videos to a potentially huge audience. That’s why video is the most important content format for no less than 62% of B2B marketers.

Create merchandise

Everyone likes receiving something in the post. As a result, sending merchandise (along with a press release) to key press and influencer contacts can be an effective way of spreading your message.

Not only does it help keep your brand top of mind (particularly if the merchandise is something that can be used daily), but, in our social age, the recipient is more likely to tell and/or show others about what they’ve received.

This can be particularly effective if you’re promoting a new product or major announcement and want to generate something of a buzz online.

Broadcast an event

Want to make a dramatic announcement about a product launch or company news? It’s never been easier to host your own online event or press conference.

You can build up to it online with a countdown on your site and social channels, broadcast your news live, and then have it available to view and share with a wider audience on your social channels.

Another way of generating free exposure is to host an online talk or debate with key figures that are influential in your sector. This will help connect your brand with those most interested in what you have to offer, whether it’s journalists looking for some juicy quotes for their next story or decision-makers looking for a new supplier.

Need a helping hand taking your brand to the next level? From press releases to online press conferences, we’ve got your covered. Find out more here.

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