Bioscience, Top Colleges, and Acquisitions: September’s Most-Read Press Releases
As we transitioned out of summer, during which readers naturally couldn’t get enough of lifestyle news in the food, travel, and entertainment spaces, interests have shifted to more hard news-focused content. Here’s what caught the attention of prnewswire.com visitors in September, based on release views:
1. Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and Executive of King County, Dow Constantine, declare Saturday, September 16 “Open Science Day” in honor of Allen Institute’s 20th Anniversary
The top September release celebrated the nonprofit Allen Institute. Established in 2003 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the institute focuses on bioscience research and practices open science, where it makes all its data and resources publicly available for researchers to access. The institute’s earliest focus was brain science, and in subsequent years has expanded to research environmental factors, climate change, synthetic biology, and AI and their impact on human health.
What works: There are a couple of target audiences for this news – the medical and science communities and Seattleites attuned to their city’s major businesses – and the headline addresses them directly. Keywords and phrases like “Open Science” and “Allen Institute” provide context and boost online discoverability, while numbers instantly draw a reader’s eye.
The body of the release features multiple best practices, making it easy for readers and journalists to pick out the key details, including:
- Strategic bolding
- Bulleted list
- Minimal number of key hyperlinks
- Engaging multimedia
- Social sharing option
Find more like this: If you haven’t already, follow these simple steps to create a custom newsfeed with PR Newswire for Journalists. You can filter news stories by geography, keyword, industry/subject, and more.
Another milestone of sorts landed in the second spot. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the nation’s top education institutions since 1983, and in its 40th year, has nailed the components of a strong release, especially for an annual topic.
What works: The company’s strategic timing is obvious here, releasing its college report a few weeks after the start of the fall semester. As students, future students, and their parents settle in for another school year, the best higher education options are top of mind.
Every annual report still needs a news peg, and U.S. News smartly puts that front and center, and not just in the subheadline, but with more context and strategic bolding in the first paragraph.
U.S. News formats the remainder of the release in an easily digestible format, sticking to just the Top 3 schools in multiple categories and providing links to the full lists so as not to overwhelm readers.
Speaking of links, this release is also an example of how to correctly incorporate numerous links in your content. We typically recommend just a few links in the body of a release for maximum engagement and to drive desired reader behavior. But in U.S. News’ case, where it provides definitive resources for the full college experience, more links are necessary. Each one is still unique, presented in a clear manner, and – most importantly – integral to the message.
Find more like this: Back-to-school news took over the wire in recent months. Check out the announcements for students, teachers, and parents in our back-to-school roundup.
The DISH/Hearst dispute resonated for readers in September as DISH customers in 27 markets across the country searched for information about why they suddenly lost access to local stations, unfortunately coinciding with prime sports viewing season. Many local news stories explaining the outage linked to DISH’s release on prnewswire.com, driving additional views.
What works: Nothing generates clicks like TV viewers losing access to football games in the fall.
Timing aside, DISH includes a section outlining the affected markets and stations and a clear call to action, sending readers and reporters to a succinct FAQ page on DISH’s site explaining disputes and next steps.
It’s an important reminder for companies embroiled in contentious matters – keep customers in mind when crafting releases, even as you’re looking to shape and drive the overall conversation.
Find more like this: Stay up-to-date on the latest entertainment news by following @prntertainment on Twitter/X.
4. Cisco to Acquire Splunk, to Help Make Organizations More Secure and Resilient in an AI-Powered World
The fourth-most viewed release in September featured the partnering of two publicly traded tech companies and the implications for the AI and security industries.
What works: The top piece of feedback we receive from journalists can be summed up as “Get to the ‘so what’ ASAP.” In a press release, ASAP = your headline. Cisco gets right to the point here, foregoing a standard (read: generic) acquisition headline and instead providing a target audience with a solution: helping companies keep up with the rise of AI.
The bulleted “News Summary” format Cisco employs here is a wise strategy for releases like this, which have multiple required components and therefore tend to be quite lengthy. The snapshot helps interested parties, whether it’s multitasking investors, journalists on deadline, or just curious readers quickly find the most important information at a glance.
Lastly, when sharing news about an acquisition/merger, joint venture, or anything where companies wish to share the spotlight, consider utilizing the joint logo template Cisco did here, one of four complimentary templates available on prnewswire.com to best display your multimedia assets. You can select your preferred template when uploading your release on the Online Member Center and can contact PR Newswire’s Customer Content Services team to change templates pre- or post-distribution at no charge.
Find more like this: AI news continue to make waves and you can view the latest artificial intelligence news from PR Newswire here.
5. Kroger and Albertsons Companies Announce Comprehensive Divestiture Plan with C&S Wholesale Grocers, LLC in Connection with Proposed Merger
We round out September’s Top 5 releases with another acquisition story. Major grocery news is of perennial interest to readers. For example, Aldi’s announcement about acquiring Winn-Dixie and Harveys in the Southeast was one of August’s most-viewed releases. Here, two grocery powerhouses announced the next step in their proposed merger to lots of interest.
What works: Much like Cisco’s acquisition announcement, Kroger shares the most important highlights up top before delving into the required elements of a release involving two publicly traded companies. Mixing up the length and structure of the italicized highlights and incorporating numbers makes a technical release palatable to a wide audience.
Kroger also wisely uses bolded headers that clearly delineate sections and weaves bulleted lists and strategic bolding throughout those sections to smoothly guide readers through a lengthy and complex release.
Find more like this: Looking for A&M news? Visit prnewswire.com for an up-to-date list of the latest announcements.
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Sarah Roberts is Director of Customer Content Services. In a previous life, she was a newspaper reporter in the Midwest before permanently retiring her snow shovel and moving to the Land of Enchantment. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, exploring the craft beer scene and petting all the dogs.