A traditional press release is a newsworthy one-page information sheet businesses send out to the media such as newspapers, TV and radio stations, online publications and so on. With the hope of getting “some press”. In other words – getting your product and company mentioned in a publication is a good thing. Especially if it is a national and well-known publication. That gives your product or service much credibility. That’s before the internet and websites.
These days it’s a different game. There is a growing trend of using press releases simply to get one-way inbound links to their website. We all know that pretty well the only way to get high ranking in search engine results is properly formatted, one-way links from related websites. In that respect, a press release is just content. Like articles you submit to article directories. The benefit of a press release though is that you might get the added bonus of getting mentioned in a publication – getting the credibility in addition to the link.
The benefit of getting written about is that each journalist will write different words. Thus your original press release will have a different version of the content out there – with the link to your web site. That’s worth the price of admission right there.
If the goal is to get journalists to write about you – the release needs to be newsworthy. There has to be something fresh, new and exciting about your service or product. If the PR is just an ad – they won’t be interested and you are wasting your time and money.
Press release distribution is next. How do you distribute the release? You can manually gather email addresses of editors to the publications you think would be interested. It is of no use whatsoever to send a release about a new FOREX trading program to a food journal. If you have a service for lawyers – you send a press release to publications lawyers might read. I have done this with great success.
If you are willing to invest a few dollars (well worth it) you can either buy a list of targeted media contacts or better still (much less work) use a PR distribution company to send out your release. The only ones you want to use will have an opt-in list of journalists. These writers have asked this company to send them the information. That’s where it’s at. This way, you will be assured that your release will go only to the publications that match your product or service. The free or almost free online services are only good for SEO linking. They rarely lead to a mention in a publication and you are missing out.
Realize that journalists are hungry for things to write about. Give them what they want, some buzz. Something new. A new twist on an old product. Always a sure bet is how your product/service has helped people. Solved problems. You might have to prove your claims though. “ACME Industries’ SuperCleaner Soap helps save Centralville Hospital 30,000 in laundry expenses”. That works. Last word then: it’s about what’s in it for the user of your product/service. Not about you and your company – or your processes.