Press Releases, Extinct?

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Early on when the Internet, search engines and the phrase “Search Engine Optimization” were just gaining popularity, press releases were underrated.

With the newer wire services providing distribution at prices everyone could afford, including MarketWire, PRWeb and PR.com, businesses of all sizes started using press releases to “do PR”.

As press releases were used and abused by everyone and their dog, the public relations industry claimed that the press release is dead.

The truth, as always, is somewhere in between.

If you expect that writing and distributing a press release will lead to reporters calling you for media coverage, you will be in for disappointment. The average reporter gets bombarded with hundreds of press releases and pitches each and every day.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t uses for the press release.

Here are some of the advantages of regular writing and distribution of press releases:

1. Making news public. Even if reporters don’t pick up the story and run it as exclusive, certain news sites will run the press release verbatim if it’s newsworthy enough.

2. Builds a timeline of credibility. The biggest hurdle most businesses have to overcome is to convince their website visitor that their company is legitimate and trustworthy. This is especially true for B2B firms as well as small to mid-sized companies. Having a press section with a regular history of press releases every month to two months can reassure them that you’re not a fly-by-night operation. The flip side of that is to avoid having large gaps of time where there are no press releases at all. It may lead visitors to wonder why nothing was happening for such a long period of time.

3. Helps SEO. As press releases get picked up on blogs or news sites, the wise use of including targeted keywords can help your SEO efforts through:

a. Creating inbound links to a website, one of the top factors for high rankings.
b. Create news stories so that when someone searches your company’s name, they see that you are active.
c. Potentially having the press release coverage itself come up high for certain keyword phrases.

4. Still steak and potatoes of PR. Press releases are still the backbone of many PR campaigns when you approach the media.

Here are some ideas for press releases. It would be a good idea to map out the next six months and allocate what potential story ideas would fit at what month:

a. New Products
b. New Customers/Wins
c. Partnerships
d. Acquisitions
e. New Hires/Promotions/Org Changes
f. Events & Shows
g. Speaking/Public Appearances

Next newsletter we’ll go into some of the do’s and don’ts for press releases.

Remember, just a press release itself is not enough for effective PR. As we stated in our last newsletter (which you can find all archived on our blog at www.firecrackerpr.com/wordpress), success in PR requires a mindset of sales. You need someone constantly building relations and working the phones to speak with the media on your behalf.

If you require PR assistance, contact us at www.firecrackerpr.com.

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