Lee Odden has an excellent post on the use of press releases as marketing tools. If right about now you’re thinking that press releases are not for your company, YOU ARE WRONG. Not only can you get more traffic and exposure from distributing press releases, but you can get backlinks as well. And the best thing of all, you don’t have to be a huge corporation with your own public relations department to create and distribute effective press releases.
Lee lists 10 steps on how to maximize your press release visibility. All of them are important but for me, two of them really stand out.
Start with something worth announcing. Boring news gets little results no matter how well it’s optimized. It’s important to focus on a specific topic. Too much information and focusing on too many keywords will dilute the message for both news search engines and readers.
As someone who gets dozens of press releases every single day, I can tell you that this is THE MOST crucial aspect of your press release distribution. To make my point clear, here is a part of the press release I got a few days ago:
[company name removed], a full-service online marketing agency, today announced that president and chief executive officer [name removed] has been named to the Lead Generation Committee of the prestigious [organization name removed], the industry’s leading association for interactive advertising.
Would you get excited about this press release? Would you want to post about this “newsworthy development” on your blog? Neither would I. Delete.
Now, the second one is equality important. Lee writes:
Make it relevant and make it easy for journalists and bloggers to write about your news. Research bloggers that write about the topic and pre-write a summary of the release for them. In many cases, bloggers will simply copy/paste all or part of your summary and add their own commentary.
Again, allow me to illustrate this point with another press release I’ve received recently:
In July 2006, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services granted approval for Affinity to offer two Medicare Advantage programs beginning in January 2007. The programs, Affinity Medicare Ultimate and Affinity Medicare Solutions, are designed for people in the five boroughs of New York City with dual eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid.
What does Search Marketing Standard Magazine have to do with Healthcare? Delete.
So what would constitute a good press release? It will depend on your target audience but here is a good example I found in my inbox:
Hitwise, the world’s leading online competitive intelligence service, today announced that the fastest growing toy-related search terms since the Thanksgiving week kick-off of the holiday shopping season (week ending November 25, 2006 vs. week ending December 9, 2006) were ‘digi makeover’, with its share of searches up 468 percent, ‘crayola cutter’, up 287 percent, and ‘fisher price digital camera’, up 110 percent.
This information is both interesting and relevant. This is something I can post on the blog, linking to Hitwise in the process.
To sum up this fairly long post, press releases are great for getting links but consider their newsworthiness and relevance before sending them out.