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Beyond writing an SEO friendly press release – meet some PRWeek 2011 award winners

2011 PRWeek Award Winners

Online marketers know that one of the most effective ways to achieve results with content is by implementing search engine optimization, or SE0. There simply isn't a better way to put your brand in front of people looking for products like yours than knowing how to write an SEO friendly press release.

However, if you think all public relations practices these days live and die with SEO, think again. There is a massively creative group of PR professionals who are incorporating and then reaching beyond SEO, blowing the doors off of traditional online marketing in the process.

Are you in need of SEO and beyond inspiration for your own marketing and PR? Take a look at just a few of PRWeek's 2011 Awards to get your creative juices flowing:

Best Use of Social Media/Digital - Weber Shandwick and U.S. Army

With the launch of Army Strong Stories in 2008, Weber Shandwick has helped military personnel tell unfiltered views of military life. The U.S. Army site relaunched last year using integrated digital story-telling platforms, which generated 1 million armystrongstories.com visits.

  • This campaign reinforces the power of creating compelling content that moves audiences to act because of its poignant nature. Remember, at the heart of most decision making, especially when it comes to buying, is emotion.

In House PR Team of the Year - Boston Police Department

A team of five, two police department members and three civilians, proved that social media is invaluable at building relationships with target audiences.

The Boston Police Department launched Virtual Community a neighborhood-based social networking and safety blog that draws 10,000 daily visitors. The department also kept itself visible by creating a Twitter campaign and publishing 1 thousand optimized press releases annually.

  • This is another example of how an integrated campaign, combining and cross-linking themes and messages, can create a whole that's greater than the sum of its parts.

Product Brand Development Campaign of the Year - Barbie: After 125 Careers, Barbie Gets Her Geek On

Mattel broke out of the box last year and invited consumers to choose Barbie's next career. After more than 1 million votes online, Computer Engineer Barbie was born.

The agency Ketchum West then took the results to a new level, creating a campaign centered on career aspirations and using multiple engagement tactics.

  • You can leverage this same kind of creativity. Ask your audiences to name a product, create a new brand mascot or share their success stories. Then build your next campaign around their answers.

Best Use of Audio/Video - MWW and Nikon: Nikon Festival Social Campaign Championing D-SLR Video

What's one of the best ways to spread word about your product? Get consumers to use it in a contest. This innovative Nikon campaign invited budding filmmakers everywhere to submit a 140-second short video with the theme A Day Through Your Lens. The winner was awarded $100 thousand and Nikon equipment to pursue and chronicle their dreams.

  • You can take a page from the Nikon playbook. Invite customers to load videos of their own featuring innovative ways to use your product. You can create a special website such as Nikon did to showcase the entrants and even get consumers to vote - can you say engagement?

Best Use of Research/Measurement 2011 - That Guy: Department of Defense Alcohol Abuse Prevention Campaign

The department of defense joined forces with Fleishman-Hillard to create an informational campaign designed to educate young service members about the hazards of alcohol consumption and promote responsible behavior.

They used a series of focus groups to determine the awareness level amongst service members 18 - 24 years old. Based on these results, That Guy came in to being with a highly successful comprehensive communications strategy and associated creative platform.

  • To best understand how to appeal to your audience, first understand their behavior. Conducting surveys and focus groups can not only give you a clearer buyer profile, it can also jumpstart your ideas for making an impact when you get a better picture of exactly who you're trying to motivate.

These examples of excellence remind us that PR is about relationships first. Start with tools like press releases to draw people to your message through SEO and then find your own creative ways to nurture those relationships. You'll not only set your brand apart, you might even win a PRWeek award.

Looking for more ideas to boost your SEO and online marketing? Check out our whitepaper, Integrating Marketing and Public Relations for SEO Success.

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