Repurposing the Press Release

If you’re involved in content-based marketing, you know the value of repurposing content.   There are many business benefits that come from transposing one form of content into another.  For one thing, the practice reduces costs and saves time.  Writing an article and then adapting it into a video script or infographic, for example, is simpler and faster than writing an article and then writing a completely new video script.  The other advantage is that you can land your important messages in multiple formats with multiple chances for engagement with prospects.

You can repurpose a press release in several different ways.  Adapting it into a blog post or contributed article is the easiest and most direct approach.   It’s not a difficult process if you remember that the content carries the same story, but in a different voice.   It’s like the difference between a wedding invitation and a personal email inviting someone to a wedding. The invitation says, “The honor of your presence is requested at a wedding to be held on a date at a specific place, etc.”  The email might say, “We’re getting married.  It would mean a lot to us if you were there. Here are the details.” It’s the same message, but stated differently.

A blog version of a press release has the same transposition of voice.  A press release invariably begins with a formal, factual statement such as, “Acme Tech announced today that it has released a new patch for version 3.2 of its Security Suite.”  The accompanying blog might start with, “We’re announcing our latest patch today.  If you have version 3.2 of our Security Suite, you will want to download it…”

A good press release should embody your corporate voice but it is bounded by the norms of press release style.  The blog allows you to be more authentic and direct – “we” and “you,” not “it” and “they.”  The challenge is to write the blog, or any other derivative content, in a voice that matches your overall corporate identity.  There’s a temptation to get overly familiar or slick in a blog, but that should be treated with some circumspection.  You wouldn’t want your blog to say, “Look, dudes, we’ve got a totally radical security patch. Check it out!”  Well, at least I would discourage that kind of tone for a serious business unless it was part of a deliberate shtick used to cultivate an image.

The other issue to address when repurposing a press release is to make sure that repurposed content aligns with your overall marketing and business goals.   If you’re trying to communicate a consistent message over time, across multiple media and user experiences, you have to map it out carefully in advance.  The hard work occurs before you write the press release.  So, while some press releases come about on their own, for their own reasons – such as when there’s a merger or surprise event – most good press releases are part of a cadence of news that maps to a broader communications plan.