Nov 10, 2011

The Social Lives of Press Releases

 

Press releases are widely shared on Facebook and Twitter, but some social media channels deliver better PR results.

We’ve been thinking a lot about press release effectiveness, and digging into our data vaults, crunching numbers and teasing out the success drivers.    On the heels of the deep dive into press release metrics we did with Hubspot, we recently completed an analysis with CrowdFactory, the company we use to provide some of the social sharing buttons you see embedded in press releases on PR Newswire.com.  Key findings include:

1. Each press release share generates 2 new views; expands total audience by 70%.

Creating shareable content and enabling sharing capabilities through the relevant channels can dramatically increase the number of views for releases. PR Newswire and Crowd Factory found that each share generates an average of nearly 2 click-backs to the original press release.  Additionally, sharing of press releases across social networks increases the total audience, or social reach, for this content by nearly 70 percent.

2. Press releases are shared more on Facebook, but Twitter sharing drives more traffic.

Among the three largest U.S. social networks, Facebook is tops when it comes to sharing of press releases: 48 percent of press release sharing happens on Facebook, 37 percent of sharing happens on Twitter and 15 percent happens on LinkedIn.

But not all shares are created equal: in spite of Facebook’s greater popularity for sharing, each share on Twitter actually drives about 30 percent more press release views than a share on Facebook.

3. Multimedia press releases generate 3.5 times more engagement than text-only releases.

Not surprisingly, multimedia press releases that include photos, videos or audio generate more views, shares and clicks than text-only press releases. Adding a photo to a press release increases engagement by 14 percent; adding a video and a photo actually doubles the engagement rate. Press releases that contain photos, video and audio generate the most engagement, with 3.5 times more engagement than text-only releases.

Related reading:

Rethinking Press Release Tactics to Meet Evolving Audience Needs

Brand Streaming: An agile approach to communications and social media

Press releases are not dead

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media, and is the author of the free ebook Unlocking Social Media for PR.

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