The hold that Wire and Press Release services have held over Investor Relations is slowly diminishing. With investors turning to Social Media in increasing numbers, IR departments have seen a drop off in engagement with traditional Press Releases. They’ve tried to incorporate things like Social sharing buttons, but the data suggests these don’t promote as much interaction as you might think.
Another major online trend has been the increased ability for pundits, reporters and promoters to publish web content about the markets. Sites like SeekingAlpha in particular get a huge number of page views.
The combined effect of both of these developments has been that bloggers are having a huge impact on the visibility of public companies online. Rather than trying to combat this change, providing materials to bloggers as part of your investor relations strategy can be an excellent way to control company branding across the web. We suggest you discuss it with your investor relations firm before going any further.
What Is a Digital Media Kit?
A digital media kit is a collection of company-approved materials that are provided to content creators for use in their own website and print content. We use them with all our clients as a passive investor relations tool. These materials generally include things like a transparent company logo, corporate presentation, or images from a project.
Kits can be provided in a few different places; companies like Twitter, Oracle and Sony, for example, have a “Goodies” section on their website that allows journalists or bloggers to download these materials directly to their computer for later use. They track all the download information as part of their standard business intelligence operations.
Why Supply Digital Media Kits?
To be sure that your company is adhering to SEC guidelines, company news should be put out through a Wire service. This may well change in the future as publishing to a company website and Social Media becomes considered “full and fair disclosure”, but for now it’s still the safest way to go.
Press Release publishing shouldn’t stop there though. Even if your company has a market cap of < $1 mil, your Press Release is likely re-published and blogged about in dozens of locations around the web. To grab a free media monitoring report visit this link. This increased exposure can be either incredibly positive or negative depending on the level of professionalism used by this third party. We’ve found that by providing digital media kits to these content creators, including high-res images and video (that have been vetted), it’s possible for a company to control its own branding without taking any part in the publishing process. This protects intellectual property, ensures brand consistency, and avoids potential legal issues.
Attach Them To A Press Release
DMKs are designed to help your company news spread organically. The latest company news is almost certainly the most relevant to bloggers. As such, it’s preferable to embed download links to your digital media in each Press Release, rather than having a download link on your corporate website.
You can still include a link on the media page of your website of course, but placing materials to the bottom of each Press Release means they can be downloaded directly from wherever the Press Release is re-published. Also, by making each digital media kit uniquely related to a single Press Release, this content becomes more relevant and is therefore more likely to be used by bloggers.
Bloggers love photos and graphics – the problem is that they’re usually really hard to get. The last resort that most turn to is taking screenshots of your corporate website. The result is that the images they re-publish are often of poor quality, have various colored backgrounds and generally are not up to date. By providing bloggers with high-res images, watermarked where appropriate, you’ll all but guarantee that your branding is solid in all re-published materials.
Image packages should include:
- At least 4 images
- 2 different logos
- 1 transparent background logo
- Watermarked project images
- Embedded meta data (title, alt text AND description)
Far fewer financial bloggers will download and re-publish your videos than did your photos. However, the advantage of social media sites like Viddler and Vimeo is they allow content creators to embed your corporate videos straight into web pages. We suggest simply asking your CEO or IR rep to read your press release aloud, film this on a webcam or smartphone, and upload it to your social media site. The advantage of having video press release is that it’s easy for someone to re-publish – and add commentary too – without having to quote your entire (probably quite dry) press release.
Make corporate videos pop by:
- Creating a unique thumbnail
- Uploading to a Social Media site
- Removing advertising (Vimeo Plus or Viddler)
- Embedding in a Press Release
The social media site Slideshare is one that IR departments seem to have grasped quite quickly. However, few still use the platform to full effect in their content strategy. We prefer to think of presentations as a way to re-package a press release, rather than simply re-publish it. Taking the major data points from your latest company news and creating a vibrant presentation with location and project information will make the data itself much easier for a reader to digest.
Capturing leads from corporate presentations is one measurable way to prove their effectiveness. Slideshare, Issuu and Scribd all have functions that allow for this in their paid versions. Leads are one metric we use for determining ROI in a Social Media strategy.
- Be a summary of your Press Release
- Highlight major data points
- Capture IR leads
- Create backlinks to your website
Provide Downloadable Information
Other information that you might consider adding to a digital media package might include:
- A company overview. Succinctly explaining to the reader exactly what you do, how you got where you are, and how you plan to achieve future goals.
- Executive bios. People want to do business with other people — not a faceless company. Provide biographical assets (photos, videos, audio clips, etc.) that make it easy for people to incorporate elements of the bios in blog posts.
- FAQ sheet. What sets your company apart from the competition? Put this info in a Q&A format, so that people in hurry can get a quick overview.
- Analyst coverage. Show people your buzz. If you secure reprint rights, you can include digital copies of your media coverage. Get a free analyst assessment here.
- Contact information. Remember to provide a way for people to contact you. Include things like your Twitter handle, your Facebook page, and your YouTube channel.