When the most recognized brand in the world vows to “kill the press release,” PR practitioners should take notice. Of course that brand is Coca-Cola, and those words came from Ashley Brown, who leads digital communications and social media for the company.
Brown talks about how he’s challenging his team to think outside the press release box, way outside. His goal is to reduce the number of press releases by half in 2014 and eliminate them all together by 2015.
Instead, Coca-Cola is using its brand journalism project, Coca-Cola Journey, to share content and tell its story, essentially replacing the press release with its digital magazine.
Check out the full article from Ragan.com to learn how Coca-Cola may be leading the charge. Who will follow?
Lessons from Coca-Cola as it weans itself from the press release:
1. Leverage your current website.
Coca-Cola remade its main Web portal into a magazine.
2. Build a newsroom, kill the press release.
Former journalists run Coke’s newsroom, and they challenge themselves to create the highest quality content that people will want to watch, read and share.
3. Fill your ‘careers’ section with stories.
Even the careers section of Coke’s site is filled with stories about people who work there
4. Touch their hearts.
Coke tells compelling stories through video, words and pictures.
5. Use infographics.
Use infographics to tell moving stories. This example is about empowering women.
6. Design for smartphones.
More than 1 billion people own a smartphone, Brown says. A global business can’t ignore the fact that much of the world accesses the Web through handheld devices.
7. Use data to guide your editorial decisions.
“We can’t talk about what Coke wants to talk about,” Brown says. “We have to talk about what people want to talk about.”
Provide stories, videos, and other content on subjects people are interested in — and that means closely watching your analytics for what works.
What are your thoughts on the article and Coke’s approach? Is it truly innovative or did PR people jump on the content bandwagon a while ago? GroundFloor Media has covered the value of the press release extensively in its own blog. Check out a few of the recent posts on the merits of the press release.