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FAQs: Flex Release™

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Q) What is the Flex Release™?
A) The Flex Release™ allows users to build their own basic multimedia communication tool via PR Newswire's Online Member Center.

Q) How can I order a Flex Release™?
A) You can order a Flex Release™ through PR Newswire’s Online Member Center (OMC). It can be ordered via The Flex Release™ order form located under the Orders > Multimedia subtab or via the Quick Start Order on the home page.

Q) What is the turnaround time for a Flex Release™?
A) The average Flex Release™ turnaround time is three to four hours. Actual turnaround time will depend on the multimedia assets utilized and the length of the news release.
 
Q) Who processes the Flex Release™?

A) All processing for the Flex Release™ (news release, photos, videos, etc.) is handled by our Multimedia Desk in our state-of-the-art Cleveland bureau.

Q) Can a Flex Release™ be used in place of an earnings release?
A) The Flex Release™ currently cannot be used in place of an earnings release.
 
Q) What do I need to upload when assembling a Flex Release™?
A) It is recommended that you follow this guide: http://services.prnewswire.com/MultiVu/PlanningYourFlexRelease.pdf. This will save you time and reduce the possibility of your session timing out.
 
Q) What are the advantages of doing a Flex Release™ versus a regular text release?
A) Adding multimedia assets to text releases enhances those releases and makes them stand out from the crowd. We've analyzed dozens of Flex Releases™ and compared them to text-only press releases from the same clients, and the results were significant:

  • 82% of Flex Release™ users saw a higher Total Visibility Index* (TVI) score when compared with their text release. The average TVI score for a Flex Release™ is 66 – 33% higher than the average press release TVI score. 
  • 94% of Flex Release™ users saw a higher Engagement Index** (EI) score when compared with their text release. 47% of Flex Release™ users received an EI score of 90 or higher. The average EI score for a Flex Release™ is 78 – 55% higher than the average press release EI score.

*The Total Visibility Index is derived from four different scores which are averaged together: The online score, media score, investor score and the search score. The average Total Visibility Index score for similar companies in a particular industry is 50.

**Engagement Index is derived from the totals in three categories: Interaction, Intimacy and Influence. The number of times readers save, print, e-mail, bookmark or blog about a release is tallied and compared to other similar releases. The averages that are established serve as industry benchmarks against which individual release are compared. The average Engagement Index score for similar companies in a particular industry is 50.
 
Q) Which wire distribution is included with the Flex Release™?

A) The Flex Release™ is distributed over our US1 wire, which includes distribution to more than 5,700 media points nationwide and more than 5,000 Web sites, databases and online services, and to PR Newswire’s media-only Web site, PR Newswire for Journalists, where tens of thousands of registered journalists and bloggers generate more than one million news release views per month. It also includes Search Engine Optimization, online Visibility Reports to track the visibility and engagement of your news release and 30 days of complimentary online media monitoring (US1 Media Monitoring) powered by eWatch™, PR Newswire’s comprehensive media monitoring service.

 Q) Can I substitute a different domestic wire distribution (like NY Metro) for the US1 distribution that is included with my Flex Release™?
A) You can substitute a different domestic wire distribution (non-specialty) for your Flex Release™; however, the price does not change.
 
Q) What types of files can be added to Flex Release™?

A) You can add photos, videos, logos, audio, presentations, spreadsheets, text documents, PDFs, etc.
 
Q) How many assets can be used in the Flex Release™?
A) Any combination of three multimedia assets (photos, videos, audio, PDF, presentations, word processing documents, spreadsheets, etc.) can be used with your Flex Release™.
 
Q) Where will the multimedia assets from my Flex Release™ be displayed?
A) Multimedia assets will be displayed on prnewswire.com and PR Newswire for Journalists. For all other sites which display the text of the release, there will be a link back to the assets on prnewswire.com. PRNewswire.com averages 1.7 million unique visitors per month.

Q) Is photo distribution included with the Flex Release™?
A) One photo will receive Times Square distribution (if requested) and all images will be displayed with the Flex Release™ on prnewswire.com and PR Newswire for Journalists.
 
Q) What are the specs for Flex Release™ photos?

A) The preferred format for Flex Release™ photos is JPG format, 300 dpi, 9 inches on the longest side. A caption is required (limited to 80 words/2000 characters). Also, if you choose to have your photo distributed to the Reuters Sign in Times Square, you will need to include a Times Square headline (limited to 80 characters including spaces).
 
Q) Are Flex Releases™ optimized for sharing via social media?
A) Yes. Each Flex Release™ has a social media panel at the top of the release, making it easy to share and tag for Twitter, del.icio.us, Technorati, Digg, Google, Yahoo!, reddit and newsvine. A “Forward to a friend” e-mail option for viral distribution is also included.

Q) Is video distribution included with the Flex Release™?

A) Yes. One video (if selected) is distributed to 15 video portals.
 
Q) What are the specs for Flex Release™ videos?
A) Flex Release™ videos are limited to five minutes each. Files over 100MB will need to be hosted on an FTP site (outside of the Online Member Center). A caption is required for all videos. If you choose to have your video distributed, you will need to provide an Online Video Distribution headline (50 characters). Please note: 4x3 format is preferred (16x9 format is acceptable).

We accept the following formats for video used in a Flex Release™:

MPEG1

  • Window Size: 320x240
  • Frame Rate: 30 FPS (other frame rates will severely affect quality and are not recommended)
  • Video Bitrate: 1150 kbps video
  • Video Codec: MPEG Layer 1
  • Audio Bitrate: 128k kbps audio
  • Audio Codec: MP3 (44kHz stereo) Multiplexed (Muxed)

MPEG2 (2:2:0)

  • Window Size: 720x480
  • Frame Rate: 30 FPS (other frame rates will severely affect quality and are not recommended)
  • Video Bitrate: 8 Mbps video constant bitrate.
  • Video Codec: MPEG Layer 2
  • Audio Bitrate: 320 kbps audio
  • Audio Codec: MP3 (44kHz stereo)
  • Multiplexed (Muxed)

Windows Media 9

  • Window Size: 320x240
  • Frame Rate: 30 FPS (other frame rates will severely affect quality and are not recommended)
  • Video Bitrate: 500 kbps video
  • Video Codec: Windows Media 9
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 Kbps audio
  • Audio Codec: Windows Media 9 – Voice or Music (44kHz stereo)

QuickTime 7

  • QuickTime 7 Pro Video (iPod export settings work best)
  • Window Size: 320x240
  • Frame Rate: 30 FPS (other frame rates will severely affect quality and are not recommended)
  • Video Bitrate: 600 kbps video (but not more that 756 kbps)
  • Video Codec: MPEG Layer 4 (H.264)
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 kbps audio
  • Audio Codec: AAC (44kHz stereo)

Flash

  • While we do accept Flash files, these are not recommended because if the aspect ratio is incorrect, it will appear distorted in the player.
  • Window Size: 320x240

Q) How should Flex Release™ files be named?
A) All Flex Release™ file names must be lowercase and there must not be any spaces or illegal characters, such as dollar signs, percentage signs, slashes or asterisks. In place of spaces, please use underscores or dashes ( _ or - ).

Please begin the name of the file with your account number followed by short description and the date.

  • A good file name would be: 999999-Acme-Commercial-12-11-09.mpg
  • A bad file name would be: Acme Commercial 12 11 09.mpg

Q) What type of reporting is included with the Flex Release™
A) The Flex Release™ receives the same reporting as a US1 release, including PR Newswire’s online Visibility Reports which tracks the visibility and engagement of your news release. You’ll also receive 30 days of complimentary online media monitoring (US1 Media Monitoring) powered by eWatch™, PR Newswire’s comprehensive media monitoring service.

Q) Which PR Newswire products would complement my Flex Release™?

A) Here are several great add-ons for the Flex Release™:

Photos: Target the media with our AP National photo distribution (includes AP PhotoExpress distribution, Times Square, Las Vegas, Internet Photo Distribution, including Yahoo!, and one year of archiving on NewsCom and AP Archive. You can also opt for the Total Photo Archive, which archives your image for one year in NewsCom and AP Archive. In addition, you can also purchase a high-resolution photo of your image displayed on the Reuters Sign in Times Square.

Microlists:
Target specific journalists who cover a particular topic or vertical.

International distribution: Target a particular region or choose broad international distribution.
 

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