By Dorothy York, President and CEO of North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS)
The media is helping Americans responding to the Coronavirus outbreak with important information to help people. Thousands of editors nationwide are asking “Can you give us more stories about advising families what to do for people now that they are isolated due to the COVID 19 emergency response?” They need shareable stories about pointers on how to keep people safe, healthy, productive and entertained. Those are in short supply and are in high demand. Now is the time to give advice to the public on how they can help their families survive and thrive at this unprecedented time.
Social media plays an increasing role, and is needed more than ever for families to stay connected in a faster, easier, more enjoyable way. Just as people have always shared newspaper articles with family members, they have increasingly been enabled to share information on social media, presenting greater opportunities for marketers to get their messages to their target audiences, by encouraging members of the families to share virtually. They can do this easily by clicking on share buttons on news sites or clicking links to social sites, which are also spelled out in articles, for those who are reading in print.
Social media is not a replacement for traditional media. Just as we still need farmers, even though we get our food mostly from markets, restaurants or delivered to our doors, we still need professional journalists to gather news, report, write up articles and post news on the sites of traditional news outlets, that can be shared on social media and may possibly go viral. We should celebrate the power of the traditional media, which is amplified by social media.
To help our clients choose formats that are getting the best results, North American Precis Syndicate ranks the top feature news stories of the year by the highest number of placements in media outlets nationwide. We have compiled the results to show the top feature news stories of the decade, those that have performed brilliantly, way above and beyond what is typically expected.
The most successful stories included attractive color photos or infographics, helpful advice from experts, celebrity spokespeople, the latest statistics, results from surveys, trends, time-saving tips, money saving ideas and other helpful information. The stories targeted people across various demographic groups and related to safe, enjoyable and prosperous experiences, protecting the health, and assets, of the readers, their friends and family members.
We are passionate about working on the kinds of stories that help millions of people nationwide with the news that is potentially life saving or can improve the quality of their lives.
Savvy social media pros capitalize on the opportunity presented by traditional media mentions that can drive traffic to social sites. To name a few, here are examples of the top social media cross promotion campaign stories of the decade, including those that are amplified with mentions of social sites in the call to action, from the best and brightest communications professionals for some of the most demanding management teams at leading organizations:
1- FCA/ Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram: Contest Corner/ Create The Car Of Tomorrow To Win Prizes Today
A story about a vehicle with new features, and the contest that helped inspire creativity in young minds and solicited people to participate in a crowdsourcing campaign to design futuristic vehicles for prizes. This helped draw attention to expose young artists to the various career opportunities. This was amplified by including information to drive readers to the Facebook, Twitter #DriveForDesign and Instagram pages for the updates.
2- Ad Council/ FinishYourDiploma.org : Education News & Notes/ Success Stories Prove That No One Gets A Diploma Alone
To address the problem of 34 million American adults without a high school diploma, readers are informed about why a diploma matters and where to find free classes. People who have graduated with a high school equivalency are encouraged to share their story on the site which has been a resource for millions of Americans in all 50 states. Adults may be inspired by their kids to get their diplomas, now that they have time to do so. The story was amplified by including information about #FinishYouDiploma and readers were encouraged to tell their stories for a chance to be included on the company site.
3- Texas Instruments: Education & Technology/ Students Learn To Seek A Cure- And Enjoy STEM Learning
To inspire students, a new activity series called “STEM Behind Health” was announced. Readers were alerted abut the interactive, hands-on way to explore the math and science concepts behind diseases that were still in need of a cure, developed by top medical experts and researchers for students and teachers. Students were enabled to help find a cure while learning math and science. This story was amplified by including addresses for the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube sites of the company for calculators.
4- Newton: Understanding Our Economy/Why- And How- To Boost Your Money IQ
To help people figure out their finances, for a financial literacy campaign, and to create an awareness of online resources from Newton, statistics were given from a university study, and budgeting tips were offered. For more information, in addition to providing a website, the Twitter address was included to help people get their questions answered.
5- The Genius Of Play: Pointers For Parents/ Keep Kids Busy With A Summertime PLAYlist
To help parents and caregivers keep kids from getting bored during school break, expert advice was given to suggest activities to build physical skills, improve cognitive abilities, learn communication and social skills, process and express emotions and increase creativity. The story was amplified by driving readers to the Facebook and Twitter pages of the organization, for further inspiration.
6- OneSight: Eye Fact And Figures/ Making Clear Vision A Reality
To unite people across the world to show what lack of access to vision looks like and how a pair of glasses can have a lasting impact on someone’s future, readers were alerted about the staggering statistics, including one out of four people in America had an undiagnosed vision problem that could affect their academic performance. To help the world see a better future, an awareness was created of a new digital movement, #UNBLUR to raise advocacy and funds to help provide eye exams and glasses for people in need.
7- n4a (National Association of Area Agencies on Aging)/ Eldercare Locator: News For Older Americans/ Connecting Caregivers To Resources And Support
To connect the 30 percent of Americans, serving in a caregiving role, to local resources, statistics were provided, including that the number of adults was expected to reach 73 million by 2030. In-home and community based services were described and offered, including a reference to more information in four popular publications, several of the sites of the organization, including Facebook and Twitter, and an 800 number.
8- Dynatrap: Health And Well-Being/ The Zika Virus: Six Prevention Tips
To help protect readers with a mosquito trap, an awareness was created, using statistics from World Health Organization and the CDC about the dangers of being infected by Zika virus and the high incidence of people already infected. Tips were offered for keeping people safe. Readers were encouraged to learn more about how the trap works and how to find it at a nearby retailer by visiting the company site and by going to the company Twitter address.
9- Behr Paints: Hints For Homeowners/ Clever Ways To Color Your World
Expert decorating tips from Behr were given for people to repaint their walls. Readers were alerted about the new ColorSmart mobile app from Behr, available on iPhone, iPad and Android compatible devices. For more ideas and inspiration, in addition to including the company site, readers were encouraged to follow Behr Paints on Twitter and to like Behr on their Facebook page.
10- Champion: Tips To Keep Your Home Properly Humidified This Winter
Readers were informed about the benefits of adding moisture to their homes, to keep those healthy, more comfortable and energy-efficient, while protecting the homes and the contents. The story included a mention of the Consumers Digest Best Buy designation of the modulating gas furnace and informed readers that it was ENERGY STAR Qualified. For readers to learn more about the heating systems offered, and how to humidify their homes, they were directed to the company site, and asked to follow it on YouTube and Twitter.
11- Johnson Controls/ Luxaire: Preparing Your Heating System For Winter
The company expert encouraged readers to take several recommended steps as part of their winterization routine, including advice from EPA and buying an energy efficient furnace or heat pump. For readers to learn how to improve energy efficiency in their home comfort systems, readers were directed to the company site and asked to follow it on YouTube and Twitter.
12- Georgia Pacific/ Brawny Towels: The Brawny Brand Stands Strong With Wounded Warrior Project To Support Our Nation’s Heroes
Readers were alerted about the physical, mental and emotional wounds of military service and the tremendous amount of strength it was taking to overcome those. The company announced that they were giving $250,000 to WWP to benefit Wounded Warriors and their families. To raise further awareness for their cause, it was announced that the brand would donate and additional $1, up to $350,000, for every individual who shares a “Thank You” note on the brand Facebook page, likes the brand on the brand there, or texts “Thanks” to the code number.
13- North Carolina: Travel Trends/ Affordable Family Fun On North Carolina’s Coast
Travelers planning a family vacation that wouldn’t break the bank were encouraged to take a look at North Carolina’s Crystal Coast in the winter, including family friendly activities, affordable attractions, and accommodating lodging for as little as $380 a week. To learn more, in addition to including the phone number and site of the organization, readers were directed to the Facebook page for the organization.
14- Adobe/ Photoshop: Photo Family Fun/ Vacations Mean Photos
To help families take memorable photos, the experts at Adobe offered a list of tips and tricks and techniques, including observing the “rule of thirds”, how to watch the light and exposure, how to get up close and personal, adding the pro’s touch and sharing options, including YouTube, Facebook and personal web pages.
15-R. W. Knudsen Family Just Juice: Better Breakfast Ideas/ Four Tips For A Sweeter, Simpler Life
Tips were offered for cutting out the complications of life and focusing on what matters most- whether it was spending time with family or prioritizing wellness. A recipe was included and readers were directed to the company site and Facebook page for more information, tips and recipes.
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