3BL Media distributes a variety of CSR and sustainability content, such as press releases, videos, and blog posts, to media and stakeholders through a network of traditional, new, and social media channels. Healthcare, energy, and technology distribution platforms will launch soon.
Subscriptions range from $15,000 to $50,000 per year, depending on the level of content management required. All subs include unlimited content distribution and full use of the portal.
Sharon Basel, communications manager for General Motors' environment, energy and safety communications, has been using 3BL since March 2011.
How do you use it?
I log on and select the primary category for the information I'm uploading, which is the environment. There are also secondary categories, such as recycling. Then I copy and paste content into the fields and click a button to upload it.
I can also put in keywords that increase the chances of exposure. You aren't stuck with predetermined keywords - you can enter whatever you want.
There is an option in the uploading process to automatically push out content on social media channels.
If there's a problem, phone numbers and email addresses of our account leads are really bold on the screen where we upload content. I've never had to leave a message or wait for assistance.
How does it serve your business needs?
We were trying to get our environment messages and stories out, and 3BL helps us inform targeted audiences that are interested in sustainability and CSR of what we have going on every day.
It gives us a different way to communicate environmental information - and not just to people covering automotive. Our environmental efforts appeal to bloggers, NGOs, and journalists who cover sustainability across all industries, and 3BL is the only way I've found to get this information distributed to these audiences. It is the best decision I've made in the last year - it's like I discovered a goldmine.
It is not just about getting out press releases and photos. We want to get out the people side and our motivations in addition to the hard news. 3BL distributes blog posts, white papers, newsletters - anything you might produce. You can't do that with any other service.
I've seen blog traffic increase, which is what I wanted, and I know I've extended the reach of a number of news stories and videos. A release on a local, though large, donation isn't suitable for national distribution, but by putting it on 3BL it's like it is national distribution. I've had incredible reach extension for some pieces that would otherwise not be published - particularly some of our diversity initiatives and videos.
Our use has expanded to include diversity, GM Foundation giving, and grassroots initiatives, so others in our communications function at GM have benefited from 3BL too.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
It is web-based.
What are the main benefits?
3BL is strategically targeted to audiences that are interested in this information, and that is its greatest appeal.
It is very clear and easy to use.
It is extremely affordable and it allows unlimited access to releases, blog posts, newsletters, videos, and so on.
Analytics are outstanding, at the click of a button. And if you need something a little more fine-tuned, 3BL is very responsive.
Customer service is outstanding – it is like having an extension of my PR team. They're always seeing what else GM is putting out, what's on our blogs, what other news is in the pipeline from other companies, and they frequently come to us with recommendations. We've taken that advice and received extended coverage.
What are the main drawbacks?
I don't see any at all.
What would you like to see improved/added?
Nothing comes to mind. The model is really good and 3BL clearly understands the space.
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