B2B Case Study: Driving Awareness and Sales with News Releases
By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media, Business Wire
One of the most overused, erroneous claims made in public relations today is “the press release is dead.” We know it is not true, you know it is not true, and reporters know it is not true. The press release is not only alive and well, but for those looking to learn more or to share your news, it is the most important document of your entire communication programming. Payments leader linked2pay proved this to be true in September when they issued the release headlined: “Avidia Bank Partners with linked2pay to Deliver Avidia Pay.” To say this news release was a hit is an understatement.
In this interview, we speak with Richard McShirley, CMO of linked2pay, to find out how one news release and one video featuring a new reseller resulted in strong awareness, coverage and sales within linked2pay’s target audience.
Richard, who was the audience for your multimedia news release? What was the goal of your news release?
This was the second in a series of news releases to raise awareness of linked2pay’s Bank Centric Payments platform. The ultimate goal was to raise the level of awareness among banks, merchant service solution resellers and business executives about how a technology minded bank, that is not among the top-tier of banks (the top 25 banks) can lead in payments innovation.
This news release raised awareness, resulting in a reaction among our intended audience that is moving people and organizations through the marketing and sales funnel process.
Based on the reaction to the release we met and exceeded that goal.
What news release tools did you use to promote this new partnership?
We distributed a news release over Business Wire’s National circuit and included several newer elements designed to educate and activate release readers.
- Included Business Wire’s VentureBeat news distribution option to increase awareness within the emerging payments space
- Increased social activations and shares by including a custom hashtag – #AvidiaPay – in our news release sub-headline, including a prepared tweet for readers to post, and using social media options to allow readers to connect online with linked2pay and Avidia Bank
- Included product information within the news release to provide readers instant access to additional information
- Provided hyperlinks within the release so readers can read additional information, on-demand
- Utilized video to both educate and emotionally connections with our readers
- Amplified branding of our partnership by including the AvidiaPay logo
- Added quotes by the President and CEO of the bank to provide additional context and show why linked2pay was the selected provider
What was the result of your multimedia news release?
The “Avidia Bank Partners with linked2pay to Deliver Avidia Pay” release got excellent pick up and follow on stories that included a piece by David Heun of Payments Source (a Source Media publication) entitled: “Avidia Bank Throws Tech-Weary ISOs a Lifeline,” which also appeared in the print version of American Banker and as an article on Pymnts.com, a leading industry publication.
The social discussions initiated by the news release and extended by our coverage allowed us to increase sales efforts, and demystify our product and services drastically, leading the way for future sales and, as such, news releases.
We were thrilled to see that BOTH of our last two releases related to Bank Centric Payments were the #1 most viewed on Business Wire for their respective dates – August 6th and September 22nd.
What was the role of public relations in this program?
For linked2pay, PR is essential as a method to accurately provide our intended audience(s) with an ongoing story of development for our business. We know of and have used other channels to release news about our company and at this point we only use Business Wire due to the coverage, the online tools, and most importantly the help we get with each release. Our results show that we are on the right path and we plan to stay with a good thing.
The tools that we get with Business Wire make the difficult task of reaching our extremely targeted audience, easier than it would be otherwise. In addition, the affiliations that Business Wire has built into the online staging process – like VentureBeat and the social media tracking report – provide a highly detailed results that can be taken forward to improve subsequent releases (provided the content is newsworthy).
Every day, companies like linked2pay utilize news releases to meet and exceed their business goals. Want to learn more about how your releases can do the same thing? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more at www.businesswire.com.
About the Author: Over the last 20 years, Serena Ehrlich has worked closely with public and private companies providing guidance on investor and public relation trends. Serena has implemented local, national and international social media and marketing campaigns for a wide range of company and brands including Mogreet, LuxuryLink, Viking River Cruises, the unincorporated city of Marina del Rey, Kraft, Kohl’s, Avon, Mattel and more. Serena started her career in advertising where she developed an understanding of branding from a large-scale perspective, but it was her 14 years in the newswire industry that placed her squarely at the forefront of a technical, sociological and influential revolution changing the face of customer communications. In 1994, Serena was part of a small team who introduced the communications industry to the Internet via a series of first-ever conferences, Her love of technology based communications hasn’t stopped since. As the director of social and evolving media at Business Wire, Serena has a unique insight in the content lifestyle – from creation to consumption. In addition, Serena serves as the Corporate Secretary of the international Social Media Club board of directors, President of Social Media Club Los Angeles, as well as social chair for the National Investor Relations Institutes’ Los Angeles chapter and is a frequent speaker at analyst and business conferences alike on the topics of mobile, payments and social.. She can be found on Twitter (@serena)