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How to Extend the Life of Your Mat Release

Did you know you can get more from your mat release than just media coverage?

A mat release typically is a 400-600 word feature article that is distributed to thousands of print and online consumer media outlets for them to publish as-is. The best mat releases focus on “news readers can use’ — tips or advice on a topic of interest to the typical American family. They’ve been around for decades and are a great PR tool to reach thousands of media outlets you’re not already pitching, to showcase your brand’s expertise.

But with a little smart planning, they can easily deliver so much more value to your marketing, SEO and public relations efforts.

Here are some ways to extend the life of your next mat release on the front- and back-ends:

1) Time it Right for Maximum Pick-Up: This one should be easy. It should come as no surprise that spring or Christmas or Back to School will come again next year and the year after that. So distribute your timely mat release early to give it the best shot of getting published in long lead time publications. Don’t wait for August for Back to School; get your story out in July. “Mat Release Christmas” starts in mid-October, with pick-up revving up in mid-November. Spring stories should start being distributed in mid-February, and summer mat releases in April. You get the picture.

2) Give it Timely and Evergreen Hooks: If you are using a mat release service, take advantage of timely events and seasons to get more pick-up on the front end of a mat release’s distribution, and evergreen themes to keep generating results in the weeks and months after the event has passed. For example, around a month before Mother’s Day you can issue a story about “How to Pamper Mom this Mother’s Day” and then segue to an evergreen version of the same story that simply removes the timely hook once the day has passed. Holiday entertaining stories can easily transition to evergreen food features, and New Year’s resolutions stories can simply become solid tip-driven advice. If you are using a good mat release service, there should be no extra charge for drafting and distributing two versions and the transition should be seamless, with your results gathered into one combined coverage report.

3) Be Social & Post it Everywhere: No matter if you draft a mat release yourself and send it to media outlets, or if you have a service do it for you, you own it. The rights should remain with you, other than rights granted to media outlets to run it in print and online. Mat releases can be some of the most valuable content you have at your control to post on your brand’s website to help your SEO strategy, and to tout on social media to engage your followers and fans.

In a world where content marketing is increasingly important to reach audiences, your mat release can be your best friend when you are seeking something to add to your blog or to your website product pages. This is especially true if your mat release contains valuable “news readers can use,” which will naturally make it something users are searching for online and seeking when they visit your website and social media pages.

Draft it the right way so it has broad appeal, give it the best angles to garner the most media pick up, and then re-use and recycle the heck out of your next mat release to reach audiences directly via the channels that you control — your website, marketing collateral and social media accounts.

Image Credit: EtiAmmos – Fotolia.com

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