When I first started blogging, I was dying to be in the know. I wanted to hear about what was going on in the industry and share it on my blog. I signed up for PR wires like Cision and my inbox quickly filled with press releases and collection launch information. Sifting through the emails was time consuming, but I was fascinated by just how many new things were happening all the time.
I was thrilled to be able have this access at the same time as a lot of bigger publications, but I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. Re-posting a press release is, forgive the language, super lame, and probably not interesting to my readers. Not to mention, if they want to see a piece-by-piece slideshow of the new designer collaboration at Target, they’ll go to The Cut or Refinery29.
When everyone else is already posting about it, what can I bring to the table?
Who cares? And why do it?
Well, do you? That is step one. While pulling tid-bits from a press release is a great way to come up with content in a pinch – don’t sell yourself short for the sake of a post. Decide first if the news interests you, and next if it will interest your readers. If the answers to both of those (or at least one) is yes, you’re good to go.
And now the big question, why?
- Blogging about recent and upcoming events, launches, and collaborations is great for SEO.
- This kind of content lets your readers know you’re tuned-in to the industry, and helps you establish yourself as an expert and an authority in the community.
- Brands and PR companies love it. Send a link to your coverage back to them and you may be building the foundation for a great relationship!
Once you’ve found a little piece of news that interests you and gives you inspiration to write, it’s time to take that and make it all your own.
Humor and personality.
The thing about press releases is that they can be dry as well as full of fluff. That’s a recipe for an uninterested reader if you ask me. Take only the meat (what’s most important) from the release and ditch the rest.
- Pull out the main points (who, what, when, where, why)
- Get the necessary links and images (including social media)
Now put those ingredients together and pour your personality all over them. Is there a dash of humor to be found in this? You don’t want to mock the brand or PR firm, but don’t be afraid to be silly. Share with your audience why this matters to you, why it entertains you, why it matters. Be honest!
I find there’s a difference in blogging between your personality, and what’s personal. Perhaps your approach for talking about a collection launch can be about the top pieces that appeal to you. Create a top 5 list or imagine a few looks they could be styled with. Give your readers 10 reasons this new collaboration will be important, or 10 reasons it’s not.
The best advice I can give your for turning a press release into a great post is not to give into the hype. Stay true to your content and your niche, and just do what works best for your goals and your audience. There will never be a shortage of fun events, designer collaborations and collection launches. The right one, the one that excites you – will come.