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How to Repurpose a Press Release

What is the difference between repurposed content and copied content?
How can PR pros make use of it to expand coverage?
What are a few ways to repurpose a press release?

These were just a few of the topics we touched on during a recent #PRprochat Twitter chat –  let me go into a little more detail.


Hi, this is Carrie Morgan from Rock The Status Quo, discussing one question out of our most recent #PRprochat, which is a Twitter chat on first Thursdays of every month for PR professionals. A lot of the topics going into a deep dive related to digital topics, so content marketing and SEO and social media, but this month we talked about content and repurposing content and the first question that we asked is, “what is the difference between copying and pasting content versus repurposing.”

Repurposing is something everybody talks about that, but so few people are doing. The ones that are repurposing their content are finding that it’s not so much a duplication of what they are creating as it is multiplying it – taking one thing and turning it into three or four other things that have a theme in common, but they are not the same. It’s about extracting one sentence or a certain quote that somebody said in an article, or a quote used a press release, or a blog post that talks about four different main points for that post but, repurposing takes just one of those four points and goes into more detail, or it takes the quote from that press release and turns it into a blog post that gives so much more information than the press release possibly could… but it’s starting with one nugget of information from another piece of content and turning it into something entirely new. This is very different than copying and pasting something.

I wouldn’t consider a press release that’s copied into a blog post repurposing, but if you take that press release and cull four ideas from it, then turn it into a slide show or you take one idea from the press release or the quote from your executive, maybe, and you write an entirely different blog post about it, that’s repurposing. It’s taking one thought or idea and expanding it into something totally new.

What I really love about repurposing is this: as a PR professional, we are juggling so many things and we are all stretched really thin and trying to do more with less every day and repurposing gives us a way to a half an hour or hour of time and we can turn it into something that is an entirely new placement for a client instead of just calling it quits after that one placement. Today with the amount of pitching we are doing that’s securing less editorial coverage than ever, and the volume of writing we’re required to do – which is very time consuming – the ability to repurpose is absolutely critical to our success as a PR pro. If we can’t land a reasonable amount of placements in one month, client’s begin to question the value of  PR and repurposing is a wonderful way to make those placements happen.

If you have a press release, for example – and I use that as an example because generating press releases when there is news and pitching media is something we all do, it’s such a fundamental core piece of PR – so as an example, using a press release that can be so easily be turned into three or four other pieces of content helps our client get more coverage on their news, it helps us as PR pros because we land more placements, and it’s a win-win for both sides without investing massive amounts of time. So if I have a press release announcing a new product, (1) I can create a blog post from the release for the client’s website that elaborates on the new product with more detail, or maybe links over to a spec sheet or embeds new video that we’ve done, (2) I can pitch a guest blog post that pulls pieces of that press release out and customizes it for their audience, and (3) I can create a slide show using PowerPoint where maybe each slide in that deck goes into more detail on specific aspects of that product.

It’s taking that press release and magically transforming it so that you’re multiplying your efforts. Copying and pasting is the same exact message that you’re populating in different areas and frankly, that’s boring, it’s not good for your SEO because it’s a duplicate content, and it is missing that creative spark that really can add life to a new product.

Even if you just have an hour of time a month because you are busy or it’s a very small client budget, use that hour to repurpose something. One of my favorite ways – and I’ve been doing this a lot lately, I’m talking about it in my new book, Above The Noise – one of my favorite ways to repurpose content is fantastic for social media, and it’s just taking a quote from something that I’d already written and turning it into an image. It gives me something to share on social media and another chance for me to build reach on that piece of content. If it’s a blog post, assuming I’ve already shared it the day it was published, you can re-share the same piece of content on social media platforms, especially the ones that have streams that move really slowly, like LinkedIn and Facebook. Once you share it, you can’t just share that hyperlink again, so you have to transform it into something new and by taking a quote out of the piece of content, turning it into an image and sharing it and then putting the hyperlink back to your piece of content, you’ve created a way to share the same content that you’ve already shared once, but you’re giving it a fresh twist and adding something different. Plus, that quote image is something highly shareable that increases the odds it will be re-tweeted or shared, so that you can gain a little more reach for it.

I would urge any PR professional and anyone that’s creating content to dedicate a certain amount of time every month to repurposing. I schedule time for things like this as meetings, because it just makes sure that it actually happens when I get busy…  so schedule time every month to go back and look at the new content that you’ve created that month and think of ways to repurpose it. As you start to make a habit of repurposing, you’ll find the volume of content you’re able to produce is significantly higher and the reach that you’re able to get with one message grows explosively, compared to just creating something once and being done.

It’s something so important to consider.


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