CHICAGO — The ICA has run integrated marketing strategies to spread the word about its WaterSavers program the last two years, said Director of Marketing Matt DeWolf. The campaigns have produced great results in that timeframe, he continued, averaging 120 million impressions a year.
In 2013, he said, the ICA “conducted three coordinated campaigns [for WaterSavers] at key message points through the year,” the spring, summer and fall/winter, which featured several components.
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The campaigns included pre-packaged press releases, and photos that were ready to be run by news media. The targeted efforts for online media also included blogger outreach, and featured branded giveaways that increased social media engagement. The ICA didn't just send materials to the media, but they sent them at the right time, and delivered information that was both interesting and relevant.
Engaging the media for promotions can be a challenge, and DeWolf offered some advice for those wanting to promote their brand. Relationship building with the outlets you want to host your content is an important step in the process, he said. Without it, it's very difficult as a little known brand to get noticed.
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When making a pitch to the news media, he added, one cannot send out a blanket message, but rather has to make it relevant to that specific outlet. “You have very little time in a pitch message for the recipient to decide whether they are going to pick up your story, so get to the point of the story, and show that you made personal effort to reach out to them for a reason that is mutually beneficial.”
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When writing a press release, ask yourself this question, said DeWolf: “Why would anyone care about the release you’ve sent out? That’s the single most important question to answer with your release.” The message has to be engaging, and there has to be a reason why the media would be interested in it.
Another tip he offered, is to ensure the release is fully edited before it's sent out, which greatly reduces the amount of time and effort a reporter needs to spend before publishing it. Making sure all the basic information: the date, location, name of business, and website contact information is easily accessible, can be the difference maker on if the media covers your press release or campaign.
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