Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When is a media release not a media release?

There were times not long ago when media releases used to come by fax, on the roll of paper that the print would fade from if you kept it long enough.

Before that, I guess they came by post or hand delivered by the junior mail clerk.

These days, a media release itself requires an entire team to plan and execute it to perfection and when it is done well, it is music to marketing trained brain.

Over the last year I have received a few great media releases and each time I have started writing this post about how much I love a great media release, today we received one that went above and beyond the usual.

Case Study One: 

The Product the PR team want to get exposure for is: Disney Cakes and Party Printables Cookbook.

They could have sent me an email with the details, a few images to use and added the usual boring note of 'let us know if you would like a copy for review purposes'.

Instead, they sent an email asking me what time the girls got home from school, their ages, and which Disney movie was their favourite.

Then exactly as we got out of the car, a man arrived with a big wooden box with this on the top.

Inside was all kinds of personalised treats, the media release itself was in a scroll, explaining what to do with everything - Have your own party. It included invitations, bunting, posters for the door and decorations, a diary.

There were dress ups.

For Miss 5

And something different for Miss 8.

There was also a copy of the new book.

It just happened to also be a half birthday in our house so we got all the stuff out and used it straight away. We didn't make a cake tonight, but I certainly will. The party box showed me how easy they have set everything up for anyone wanting to host a Disney themed party.

Different kits were sent to people all over the place, search the hashtag #DisneyPartyAu and you will see some other themes.

When you get a media release, the business knows that you might be receiving lots more that week and the majority will not get a look in. This is not a sponsored post, I don't get paid to write about the Disney book. But would I buy it myself or recommend it - Sure would. Did I take the time to read the media release? Yes.

Case Study Two: Target Toy Sale.

This one started with an invitation to attend the toy sale for a preview night. I just don't have time to get out to many blogging/PR events so I sent a response to let them know I wouldn't be attending.

A week later, in a smart fancy black envelope I received a card, like a giant pop up book. It included a section with a countdown to the toy sale and also a nifty USB in the shape of a key. The key caught my eye, so I plugged it in to the lap top. There wasn't much on the key, but it did include some toys expected to be big hits this year. I wasn't expecting to see anything I liked, but I did.

The pop up caught my eye, an email with a pdf attached would not have even been opened.

Case Study Three: Fairtrade

This was a few months ago, but I still remember it

It was a cardboard box filled with boxes and tins of teas. Heaps of them, all sorts. There was no media release, instead there was a handwritten letter on some note paper telling me about a Fairtrade festival that was soon to occur. The box introduced me to many brands I hadn't heard of before.

The best thing about this box was the sharing bit. When friends popped in, I told them to pick a tea to take home with them. When I went to a School Mums house for a Mums catch up, I took some teas for everyone. When I sent a friend a hello note, I sent some tea and when another fellow tea lover came for dinner we tried a couple of herbal teas as we went.

Every interaction with other people meant that I explained about where the teas came from and why I had them.

Were all of these media releases considered a success for the campaign managers? I don't know. But I did read the release, I did enjoy the creativity of the campaigns and they have been the ones I engaged with. It helps to build relationships with the PR teams.  Had they simply sent me an email, it is likely that I would have scanned it at most, but more than likely have deleted it, with the pdf unopen, and moved on to the next email.

Ever received or sent an engaging media release?


  1. Wow, wow, wow! That's some pretty amazing media releases there. Substantially different to the ones in my field! I can't believe the Disney one. Amazing!

    1. And as I am someone who sends media releases, I can tell you, I still send the text in an email version. They too can work if the story is kicking enough.

  2. Wow! I love how innovative they all are particular the Disney one!!!

  3. Such clever and creative ideas! I really like the thought that went into the Disney one.

  4. There is nothing better that a really great media release. Some of them are simply amazing and I am more likely to give them a shout out. I recently got one from Garnier which was a pass the parcel scenario. I actually clapped at the creativeness of it. x

  5. What clever clogs they are - such great imagination and their message certainly packed a punch! Very cool! Puts the media releases I write to shame.

    1. I write a rather dull release too Emily - but hey, we probably have marvellous content that just cuts through.

  6. Brilliant. No way are those getting lost in the see of "Hello blogger name" emails!

    1. Sometimes I get emails for other bloggers even, with their name and website details...not a great start.

  7. No, I have never been sent a media, but wow I'd so love to be sent the Disney one, that would so be awesome.

  8. Because I've attended zero PR/Marketing campaigns despite the many invitations, I don't get fancy mail outs, but these. THESE. would get my attention too. Clever marketing teams!

    Thanks for sharing. I think I like the Tea one the best ;) x

    1. The tea one was really great - I still have some in my cupboard, one day I will drag you along to an event just so we can meet. (we can pretend to listen to the what the topic is)

  9. Okay, now I'm just pissed Disney didn't send me one! I want an Olaf cake pop, dammit! ;)


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