Pressboard Boost gives brands a way to amplify the social reach of earned media coverage

Pressboard Boost
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Pressboard is building upon its work in developing a platform to help brands improve their paid media efforts with Pressboard Boost, a product that will amplify the social reach of its clients’ earned media coverage.

The Vancouver-based firm officially launched the beta version of Pressboard Boost on Wednesday. When a B2B brand is profiled or included in the editorial coverage produced by a publisher, Pressboard Boost can offer a quick and simple way to find out how the publisher is sharing the story on social media and then pay to increase its reach based on their budget. Revenue from Pressboard Boost is then split between Pressboard and the publisher. Social media influencers are another possible customer opportunity for the product.

Pressboard is best known for offering a digital marketplace that connects advertisers creating branded content with publications, including B2B firms like GE and outlets like the Wall Street Journal. According to Pressboard co-founder and CEO Jerrid Grimm, however, clients recently began asking if the firm could help with getting more attention to the stories that come out of public relations and corporate communications campaigns as well.

“We’ve always lived in paid, whether that’s sponsored content or native content,” Grimm told B2B News Network. “This is entirely new for us. The cool thing is we personally have aways loved earned media. It’s credible, it’s third party validation, it makes you feel good about yourself, and it makes you more trusted.”

Beyond the revenue publishers might get through Pressboard Boost, it could also help address ongoing challenges in the media sector to meet aggressive targets for online page views and other metrics.

On the other hand, Grimm said Pressboard wants to be careful about the way Pressboard Boost is used so as not to create potential conflicts of interest or issues that would jeopardize a publisher’s editorial integrity. Brands will not be able to boost negative coverage of their competitors, for instance, and the product will not be offered to increase the social reach of political content.

During the beta period, which will likely span the next couple of months, Grimm said Pressboard will also personally review each Pressboard Boost request, as will the social network where it’s boosted, to make sure it meets any particular guidelines. 

“What we don’t want to do is have the idea (a brand) is going to boost something in the future that would influence the editorial team (of a publication),” he said. “We believe in the idea of church and state.”

PR agencies might want to weave Pressboard Boost into the work they do to help prove ROI to brands, Grimm said he would be open to that, along with partnerships between Pressboard and firms that focus on digitizing earned media processes.

“Every single company in this space are frenemies of each other,” he said. “They either want to partner with you, or they want to replicate you, in most cases.”

Pressboard will also only be working with brands it selects for Pressboard Boost during the beta, Grimm added, though others may join a waitlist once the firm feels confident “the market is acting appropriately” with the technology capabilities being offered them.

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Shane Schick
Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.