Putting out a press release may seem like a pretty old school way of trying to attract attention to something your company is doing; especially if you are actively using things like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to reach your target audience. However, a lot of successful companies still publish and distribute press releases during their marketing and PR strategies. So why is the faithful old press release still such a popular way to promote your business and does it work? Here, we explain all:
What is the Goal of a Press Release?
When you tweet, write on your company blog, post a new YouTube video or do any of the other things that make up your social media marketing strategy, your goal is to get the attention of your target customers or clients. This is what makes social media so powerful – it allows you to engage with the people who are most interested in what you do directly and quickly.
The goal of a press release is slightly different. A press release is intended to boost your exposure and bring your news to new potential customers and clients, as well as any other interested parties, by catching the attention of people in the media and bloggers. If these people cover your story on their own channels, it can provide a huge boost to your publicity.
Front Page News
While your company’s latest news may not be something to alert the Financial Times or CNN about, in the digital age there are people looking for news in just about every conceivable niche to write about on industry blogs and special interest sites. They may not know about you yet, so they might not see your tweets and other posts unless they are searching for something at the right time, but if you target them with an email including your new press release there is a good chance (depending on how popular the niche and how much news they receive) they’ll be interested.
As well as sending press releases out to relevant bloggers and news sources, you can also pick up interest from sites and writers by submitting your press release to a press release distribution site or network. Google really loves anything it automatically considers to be news, so submitting your news stories to the right press release distribution networks can make them very easy for people to find in their web searches. Many sites simply aggregate news from new press releases related to certain topics, too, so you will be likely to see yours pop up in all kinds of places!
The Art of Press Release Writing
Press releases take on a pretty uniform format and writing them is something of an art in itself. Because they are news stories, you can’t write anything too self-promotional and there has to be a timely and relevant factor to what you say. Press release distribution sites are very strict about both the format and the tone of the message, so it can be hard for an inexperienced person to write a press release that won’t get rejected. It is therefore usually easiest to hire a professional to write your press releases for you if you don’t feel that you know what you are doing, rather than go through several cycles of submission and rejection before you can get your news out.
You should also use a professional PR company to distribute your press releases. This will generally get you much better results, because they will have powerful strategies around who to target and where to post your news, as well as access to resources you won’t have. It is possible to get your press releases distributed for free on certain sites; however this is a very hit and miss approach that is only recommended if you have a tight budget set for marketing and PR.
Chris Hoole is a writer who understands the power that press releases can have in promoting and advertising your business and products. He recommends contacting a PR agency in Manchester or your local area to help you to present your press releases to a target audience.