ARC is an HTML platform that allows users to compile multimedia content (videos, images, links, PDF, text, etc.) and distribute it via PR Newswire to websites, blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, media outlets, and journalists. It includes the ability to update and add to content after it has been distributed, and to measure activity, and engagement.
Starting at $9,950
Ali Gerakaris, senior marketing manager at Apple Vacations, has been using ARC for about a year.
How do you use it?
I write a press release, gather multimedia materials like video, photos, and PDFs, and email them to the MultiVu team.
Our PR Newswire account executive and our MultiVu account executive helped us with our strategy for the releases. They also helped us understand what people outside the industry might want. We live so much in the travel space, so it was very helpful to have input from people outside of our industry.
If there's a problem, we email the general mailbox and our contact person sees it. Our account executives are also able to step in if there's an issue.
How does it serve your business needs?
It allows us to tell a longer story than we can with press releases. It's great for complicated stories, i.e., ones that need more of a library and archive, so people can go forward or backward in the story.
Right now, we're using ARC for our partner RIU Hotels and Resorts, which is doing grand openings and renovations on hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean this year. We use it regularly when hotels open, to talk about new features or renovations, and to promote Apple Vacations' flights and special rates to those hotels.
We want to reach journalists and bloggers, consumers, and our travel agent partners. Because ARC has such targeted SEO, consumers find it. Travel agents use it as an educational tool to learn about these new hotels and as a content library for their clients.
It gives us a unifying platform to talk about RIU grand openings, and the individual releases allow us to disseminate information about individual hotels all over Mexico and the Caribbean.
The multimedia aspect is fantastic. The images of these hotels are beautiful and eye-catching. Being able to present them next to copy and a value proposition about Apple Vacations' flights and rates gives us the complete package.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from and IT standpoint?
It lives on their servers, but all links go back to our website.
What are the main benefits?
It's distribution service links to AppleVacations.com.
All related information is housed in one place with one URL, so anyone in the audience can bookmark the site and go back regularly.
It's easy to update – it's just an email to the team. They like to have a week to make changes, but it's never taken that long.
It's very clear. Everything is spelled out. We're just creating things within ARC's perimeters.
What are the main drawbacks?
You can't just wing it. You have to take time and build a strategy to make sure it doesn't go stale.
We tried to set a year schedule, knowing things might change here and there, but we had a hard deadline, and we tried to space the updates in a way that makes sense for our resources and for best driving the business. If you deviate from that schedule it'll push back the work of other departments and make it harder to play catch up with your schedule.
What would you like to see added or improved?
We use several PR Newswire services, including the social media room. I'd like to see better integration between the ARC platform and my social media room. When we send updates it automatically feeds into our social media room, but it's all text – you don't see the beautiful images, videos or even the nice background we worked so hard to design.
I wish its name was more explanatory. When I'm talking to internal travel executives and international hotel partner executives, there's no easy way to explain what it is.
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