Last Summer, we began having conversations with customers as well as a handful of influentials in the communications space, regarding how to effectively revise the PRWeb news release template. Concurrently, we also launched internal research efforts that focused on tracking a variety of key performance indicators for PRWeb news releases and attempting to correlate positive outcomes with structured elements of the release.
After many discussions, conclusions and product iterations we are getting close to a place (in the not-so-distant future) where we will be unveiling a new template for the PRWeb release. As you can see in this rendition (not the final design), the various structural elements will remain largely unchanged, however the composition of those elements has been changed.
Our redesign of the template has been driven by the following considerations:
1. Improving the search friendliness of the template – The code behind the template has been written from scratch using more search-friendly methods. For example, we have transitioned from using tables to CSS, which allows for cleaner code, less HTML and a host of other benefits. This batch of fixes probably won’t make as profound an impact on human readers but the lighter code should be more easily crawled and parsed by search crawlers.
2. Creating more space for multimedia – As mentioned above, we have been taking a closer look at how multimedia impacts the consumption and usage of news releases. In general, our research has indicated that multimedia can create greater levels of engagement with news readers. Specifically, we have seen very positive relations between usage of relevant multimedia and increases in key performance indicators like time-on-page, general self-reported experience of the news and likelihood of using multimedia in ensuing stories. Accordingly, the new template will provide more page real estate to the multimedia elements that we know readers are looking for and using.
3. Increased interaction – In addition to broadening engagement, we have been looking at how to improve the news release’s facilitation of various forms of interaction (shares, forwards, click-through). Accordingly, we have optimized the location of interaction elements to ensure that they are readily available in places and at times when news readers are most likely to use them.
Moving forward, there are several key enhancements to the news release template that will improve their search-friendliness, social media potential, level of engagement and action-orientation. However, this first release will be focused on reorganization and optimization. As always we would love to hear your thoughts!