BREAKING: Press releases not the only (or always best) way to announce news
January 28, 2015
by Guest
 

By Devlyn Coelho, director of corporate marketing, DataGravity

Not everything that matters to your company is newsworthy. That doesn’t mean no one will care or pay attention to your non-news. If your company won a (lesser-known) award, hired a (non-executive) employee, made a (less-than earth shattering) product update or achieved some other marker that matters to your target audiences but won’t stop the presses in any newsrooms, why spend the time and money crafting and distributing a news release? Why hound reluctant journalists to cover that minor announcement? Why, when you could promote that information via your owned media – right on your corporate blog.

Sharing news that matters with the people who will care: When blogging is the better platform choice
This is what we decided to do in the fall of 2014 as we approached the general availability date for the DataGravity Discovery Series. We had gone out with big news in late summer – the public launch of the company and revelation about our data-aware storage technology. We knew we could have more significant news by the end of the year, and we didn’t want to burn up media interest by pursuing briefings and coverage of our ship date.

However, the general availability was significant news to prospects and partners who were interested in using our solution to unlock the value of their data. We wanted them to know what the company was up to, and we also wanted them to know that their success with Discovery Series was our most important goal. Together with our Metis account team, we decided that the company blog was the best place to do that.

The blog was nearly 20 months old at that point. The team had begun blogging during the company’s stealth mode, and we’d built up not only hundreds of thought leadership posts and other useful content, but we’d also grown the blog’s readership. Returning visitors knew to look for new posts at least twice a week, and first-time visitors were consistently finding us through our social media channels and organic search.

The benefits of owned media
DataGravity co-founder and CEO Paula Long authored the blog announcing our ship date, and she put a lot more context around that information than we would have been able to achieve in a release. An additional benefit was having a less formal forum that allowed us to let the personality of our CEO come through.  Prospects, partners and customers heard directly from Paula, both in writing and through a video we embedded in the blog. Because we controlled the way we shared this information, the team was also able to link to other parts of the website to promote premium content and tell a more complete story.

Our team at Metis made sure the blog got distributed to influencers, as well. They shared it directly with our targeted analyst, media and blogger contacts, as well as across our social channels. The team created a variety of posts to draw audiences from our Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook feeds to the blog over the course of a week. Based on that distribution, some influencers wrote about the ship date, some of them shared our posts with their followers over social media, and others thanked us for the update and asked to be kept informed of future news.

DataGravity is focused on gaining actionable insights from data, so it’s fitting that our final review of how this non-announcement fared comes down to numbers. The blog announcing our ship date had the No. 1 rank of any other post between our August launch date and the end of the year. Because the blog continues to hold the top spot for referring traffic to our site, that is significant. The post also attracted more overall site users and page views than any other between the launch date and early December, when we announced a $50 million Series C round of funding that sparked a traffic spike.

We continue to use the corporate blog strategically as a place where we can share useful, educational and informative content – including news – with our target audiences.

 

Devlyn Coelho is the director of corporate marketing at DataGravity, a Metis Communications client. With 20 years of diverse marketing experience, Devlyn is responsible for analyst and public relations, demand generation, channel and field marketing, and content and creative services programs at DataGravity. She previously was senior director of marketing at Enterprise Strategy Group, where she drove the strategy for content development, search engine optimization, marketing automation and media relations. Earlier, Devlyn held several senior marketing roles at Dell/EqualLogic, where she led marketing and lead generation programs for enterprise storage, servers and networking product lines. Devlyn is known for using innovative methods and techniques to build creative, high-impact marketing programs that drive rapid growth and development. A full-time mother and a sci-fi fan, Devlyn earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Smith College.   
 

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