Few can argue that technology hasn't majorly changed the public relations game. Mass emailing a generic press release rarely snags any valuable media coverage. On the flipside, super-tailored story pitches certainly go a long way—but they're also time intensive and still not a guarantee. With journalists being constantly inundated with pitches, sometimes even the best ones go unread.
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This is precisely why more and more brands are getting creative when it comes to getting their message to the masses. It isn't all that surprising that sponsored content has taken off the way it has. Long gone are the days of banner ads and pop-ups. Instead, brands are opting to craft their message in a more editorial way.
The sponsored content movement has been a game changer. This is because a whopping 60 percent of readers are more receptive to ads that tell a story. NewsLauncher is one platform that streamlines the process by allowing brands to directly commission stories with top publications. The payoff goes both ways. For brands, it's immediate exposure; for publications, it's newsworthy material that gels naturally with the other featured content.
"Our strategic partnerships with publishers and brands have created an environment of trust that makes it easier than ever to take quality news to the masses," says Dave Polykoff, CEO of News Innovations. "Brands are happy they don’t have to write rigid press releases and search for emails while publishers see real news come across their desks."
The unfortunate truth is that journalists are less and less able to rely on digital wires for credible story leads. This is mainly because the SEO industry has figured out how to use these wire sites to generate links. As a result, more and more irrelevant and useless press releases have been created.
According to Matt Cutts, head of Google's web spam team, they've caught on and have since reacted. At the 2013 Pubcon in Las Vegas, he said that Google had identified the sites that were press release syndication sites and simply discounted them.
Newswires aside, NewsLauncher-type platforms are also designed with promotion in mind. Let's face it—press releases don't go viral. Instead, it's captivating, relevant articles that get shared. This is especially the case for articles that are shared on a trusted media publication.
In other words, sponsored content bridges the gap between "spray-and-pray" press releases and targeted, specific pitches. The best part is that the NewsLauncher setup funnels story pitches directly to the inboxes of professional journalists who are hungry for stellar ideas.
The Internet is expanding faster than we can keep up, growing by leaps and bounds. Before the year is over, experts predict that there will be over one billion active websites. This means that each and every one is competing for pageviews and engagement. Content overload is for real, and platforms like NewsLauncher makes it easier for businesses to reach their targeted demos. Coverage in a large publication translates to access to a loyal audience. In the end, it's a win-win.