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InformationWeek and its portfolio of resources are highly regarded among business technology executives and IT professionals as the technology market's foremost multimedia brand and the publication of record for news, analysis and research concerning the IT industry. The real-world IT experience and expertise of its editors, reporters, bloggers, and analysts have earned the trust of its business technology executive audience by delivering actionable information that can be utilized in all phases of the technology decision-making process.
Recognizing an opportunity to extend its brand and build additional readership, InformationWeek chose to initiate a proactive awareness campaign aimed at publicizing its content to the general public. The strategy, as noted by Alexander Wolfe, editor-in-chief, InformationWeek.com, was designed to serve several key marketing needs – increase public recognition and site traffic, re-enforce brand-building, and generate inbound links as a means to enhance InformationWeek’s Google ranking.
In order to execute this strategy in the most efficient, cost-effective and reproducible manner, InformationWeek decided that it needed a communications technology that could reach a broad audience via widespread online distribution, allow for search engine optimization, and promote sharing and interactivity within the social media realm.
The editorial team at InformationWeek has long been aware of the value of the press release, having reported on countless company and product announcements throughout its twenty-nine years. But the notion of using a press release as a primary tool for its own brand and audience building campaign was not immediately considered by the editors or the marketing team.
The reason - the group at InformationWeek perceived the press release as a static text document used to announce a news event; not a multifunctional marketing and communications tool that allows one to connect with a widespread audience using a variety of touch points and technologies.
However, as the team at InformationWeek began to more closely analyze the various tools that were available to them, it soon became clear that the press release has become much more than the text only news announcement of yesterday – it has morphed into a flexible communications tool that can be used to reach all forms of audiences, whether it be media, investors, business associates or consumers and which also serves as a powerful tool to increase online presence and supplement SEO efforts.
Backed by this knowledge, InformationWeek elected to move forward with a press release-focused marketing strategy, and the first call the marketing team made was to its UBM brethren, PR Newswire. “With its robust news distribution capabilities, PR Newswire was an easy choice to serve as the communications hub for InformationWeek’s marketing and branding campaign,” remarked Mr. Wolfe.
Beginning on April 29, 2009, InformationWeek initiated a campaign whereby it distributed a series of press releases that pointed to content on InformationWeek.com. The first wave of announcements included a round-up of “Editor’s Picks” articles, an analysis of Ubuntu 9.04, and an assessment of the Kindle DX launch. The intent of the press releases was to highlight noteworthy reporting on InformationWeek in order to drive readers to the site and showcase the publication’s business technology acumen.
The impact of PR Newswire’s news distribution platform was immediately evident. The releases were posted on numerous highly trafficked business news sites, including Forbes.com, Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, Reuters and BusinessWeek’s BusinessExchange, as well as hundreds of regional newspaper web sites.
The result, the articles were able to draw the attention of the sites’ readers, serve as inbound links to InformationWeek.com and TechWeb, and, ultimately, drive traffic to InformationWeek. An analysis of the campaign by InformationWeek on Google's Chrome OS, for instance, determined that the PR Newswire-distributed press releases generated over 10,000 impressions.
With the program showing measurable benefits, the editorial and marketing teams are now planning regular distributions of content from InformationWeek’s entire portfolio of resources, including DarkReading.com, ByteandSwitch.com, IntelligentEnterprise.com, and InternetEvolution.com.
Assessing the role of PR Newswire in the process, Mr. Wolfe commented, "We've found that the PR Newswire Portal – the Online Member Center, an easy to use tool for uploading press release content, greatly facilitates the process and is enabling us to expand usage of PR Newswire throughout our organization."