September 30, 2016

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Why you should use news searches to fuel email newsletters

Why you should use news searches to fuel email newsletters

The email newsletter has kept its place as a fixture in content marketing—it is a reliable form of communication that is also readily measureable. You can easily see which emails perform the best, what open rates are like, and how many click-throughs you’ve received on a publication. You can craft content ahead of time and schedule it to send—or you can send breaking news to a wide list in minutes. In short, it’s one of the best tools in the communicator’s toolbox.

The only real hurdle is keeping the email content relevant, fresh, and interesting. No matter how many ideas you’ve pulled together before launching an email newsletter, at some point you’ll need new ideas and topics to write about—and randomly searching for new topics a few hours before deadline will get old quickly.

So why not use your media monitoring to help with the process? Setting up search terms will help you write more effective newsletters in a number of ways:

It will help keep your content fresh and updated. If you’re regularly sending email newsletters, you probably have a pretty solid idea of what types of topics you want to write about. Using a media monitoring program will help you to find blog posts and news articles of interest, which will make your pieces feel very current. There’s always a place for evergreen content, but having a few articles that make the connection to daily events will make your newsletter more “news-like” than “brochure-like.”

Using media monitoring can provide a steady stream of new content ideas. New ideas are helpful for any writing assignments that are ongoing, and email newsletters are no different. Using media monitoring can help broaden your topics by widening the scope of your reference materials—in other words, it can keep you from having tunnel vision on your best topic areas. Whether you are writing about sports, consumer goods, or any other subject area, there is most likely new information published every day about some aspect of your general topics. Monitoring will help you find it.

Monitoring can help you capitalize on current events in your newsletter content. We’ve written before about newsjacking, what it is and when it is appropriate to use it. While most of the focus is on using social media for newsjacking items, email newsletters are another logical and appropriate vehicle for this tactic. Political campaigns and nonprofits are pros at connecting current events to items in email newsletters—I’ve received email newsletters about current events from organizations minutes after relevant news breaks. Just make sure you read the caveats in the other piece first—there is no point in creating a crisis for your brand or company by sending something that is inappropriate or in bad taste. As always, be fast but think things through.

Using media monitoring to provide, inform, and guide email newsletter content will not only help you to write more effective email newsletters—it will also save you time. Creating new and interesting content on a regular basis can be challenging, but media monitoring can provide a regular stream of new and interesting ideas for you to use as a springboard for email newsletter content.

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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for just over 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR work, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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