September 30, 2011 Leave a comment
Traditional (offline) press releases are used to pitch a story to the media. They are your calling card; a quick way to tell your story and highlight exactly why the media should cover you. But when it comes to landing media, a press release on its own is seldom going to do you much good. It’s true that we’ve placed stories by sending out a press release, but those instances are rare. Chances are you’ve also heard stories of companies that have placed a press release on one of the paid wire services and have gone on to garner national media coverage. Those stories are also true, but, to be honest, your odds are better of winning in Vegas than of hitting it big in the media world on the strength of a press release. A press release can be a great introduction, but if it’s not followed up with phone calls and other media approaches, chances are it’s not going to get you far.
The job of the traditional press release is to start a conversation and to generate some initial interest or curiosity. Online press releases have different objectives. When effective they can help you move up in search engine rankings, build back links and help drive targeted web traffic. If you’re lucky they will get picked up by other news sites and blogs. If you’re remarkably lucky they can result in landing you traditional media coverage.
As I mentioned earlier, they can help with your SEO. So know what keywords to use. Use one of your primary keywords in your titles and incorporate other keywords into the content. Don’t overdo it though. Be judicious in your keyword usage. Keep in mind that with online press releases you’re primarily talking to your target audience, whereas with traditional press releases you’re talking directly to the media. Those are very different audiences. With online releases, create copy that is as relevant to your audience as possible article content. Don’t sell yourself or your product or service; offer solutions.
But if traditional media is your objective, sending out online press releases is generally a very ineffective approach. They can be seductive at first. Your releases might get picked up by Google or Yahoo or other online sites, which is fun to see, but the chances of that type of exposure leading to coverage in a magazine, newspaper or on TV are remarkably slim. So keep your objectives in mind when deciding what types of press release you want to utilize. Both traditional and online releases have their place, but each has a different function. If your objective is to help increase your web traffic and raise your search engine ranking, online is worth a shot. If you’re looking to gain coverage in TV, print, or radio, whereas online might help, to be truly effective, focus on the traditional approach.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011
Gregory, Alyssa. “Publish Your Story to the World.” Photo. SitePoint. 02 Oct 2009. 30. Sept. 2011. <http://www.sitepoint.com/online-press-release-distribution-sites/>