This evergreen post was published on our blog in 2009. We have updated it for today.
When to use press releases
Is a press release any good anymore?
If you are pitching a national story with strong news interest and relevance, you can use a release to make sure select outlets and journalists you interact with have all the information they need. However, if you are just using it like a message in a bottle, casting it out on the water just to see who answers; not so much.
Press releases have evolved
The use of press releases has evolved. Releases are a great tool for reaching prospective customers if you publish them to your own website. Self-publishing them to your blog or newsroom first is critical. Avoid putting them on multiple free press release sites as these move traffic away from your own site and this tactic has sailed like a ghost ship over the horizon. Google even may mark your website as spam if you post press releases to non-relevant sites. The reality is that releases can help you deepen content on your website and are great when optimized well to bring interested customers to your site.
The days of mass blasting of a news release are gone. Or they should be. If your public relations consultant says this is what you should do, run! What is imperative is a carefully crafted pitch to bloggers, social media followers and interested journalists with whom you’ve developed relationships. Get to know journalists in your field first. With bloggers, seek permission to send a release or know that they are open to receiving your release before you send it. And for all outlets and journalists, make sure to deliver your press release in the manner that they request. Some reporters and editors no longer wish to receive press releases via e-mail and have returned to the days of snail mail.
Relationships come first
Don’t wait to get to know bloggers and journalists; develop your relationship with them over the course of time. Follow them on social media. Reading and following their writing, interacting with them on social media and commenting on their work. Create value and become a known source and then when you have a story to pitch or news to share, they frequently are much more open to receiving it.
If you need help attracting attention for newsworthy stories from your business, give us a call. We’d love to provide our counsel to your business.
3 thoughts on “Is your press release like a message in a bottle?”
For small businesses without a dedicated PR person, services like PRWeb and others that offer help manage press release distributions seem like a cost-effective alternative, but based on your post it sounds like those types of services could do more harm than good. Your thoughts?
PRWeb is a good tool to send your release to your media contacts. I've used it in the past, but generally prefer to send my releases to my contacts directly. If your topic is a broad news story, with real time interest for many people across a broad spectrum, then a broadcast may make sense. However, for for product related news, or other general business news, I would send only to my contacts with whom I have relationships.
Thanks for reading and thank you for your comment.
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